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Gas Safety Certificates
The Dangers, Regulations, Survey, and what it all means for you

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The Dangers

According to HSE, 159 flammable gas incidents caused 209 reported fatalities and non-fatalities in 2019/20. These stats include carbon monoxide poisoning, explosions, fires, and other gas exposure.

When gas isn’t burnt properly excess carbon monoxide is produced, which can kill within hours. Carbon monoxide has neither a smell or a taste, and carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are easily confused with flu or even just being tired, which makes it even more deadly as people are not likely to recognise what’s happening before it’s too late.

There is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

The aim of regular Gas Safety checks is to reduce the number of people harmed in these ways by identifying and fixing risks before they cause an issue.

The Regulations

Gas Safety Certificates must be updated annually and a record kept for a minimum of two years, failure to do so is a serious offence as it puts lives at risk and therefore can result in substantial fines (up to £20,000 per offence) and/or a custodial sentence (imprisonment) of 6 months.

Landlords of properties with a lease that is longer than 7 years and is for life then the landlord is not responsible for gas safety checks, however if there is an implied tenancy arrangement (E.G. accommodation is provided as part of a job) then the landlord IS responsible.

Landlords are not responsible for any gas appliances that they do not provide, however they are responsible for the parts of the associated installation and pipework, just not the actual appliance.

Domestic

Landlords of domestic properties that have a gas supply have a legal responsibility for the safety of their tenant in relation to gas safety and are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to:

Properties with “common/communal areas” that have appliances, fittings and flues which may be used by tenants are also the landlord's responsibility. If the landlord is not the building owner then the landlord must arrange with the building owner to ensure that all communal gas appliances, flues and pipework are properly maintained and checked for safety by the building owner.

Commercial

While the above legislation is for domestic landlords, it’s important to remember that commercial landlords have a legal duty of care for the tenants and visitors of their properties.

It’s also important to note that employers also have a responsibility in regards to gas safety, according to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998:

"It shall be the duty of every employer or self-employed person to ensure that any gas appliance, installation pipework or flue installed at any place of work under his control is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk of injury to any person."

HSE also state that the following people require annual gas safety checks:

The Survey

The Inspection

By law, only a Gas Safe registered engineer with the correct knowledge can carry out Gas Safety checks. During the inspection the engineer will:

Check the gas appliances to ensure that they’re:

They will also ensure that:

For domestic properties the inspection usually takes approx 30 minutes depending on the size of the property or amount of appliances to be checked. Due to the large variations in size and complexity of commercial buildings we cannot provide an average time that the survey takes, please ask for an estimate on booking.

The Certificate

After the survey you will receive a Gas Safety Record (certificate) containing:

If defects are found during the gas safety check then the landlords must take appropriate action to ensure the property is gas safe. Any concerns found must be rectified by a Gas Safe registered engineer before the appliance is used again - it is an offence to use/allow the use of any gas appliances that are known to be unsafe.

You will need to keep this record for a minimum of two years.

What it means for you

Domestic Landlord

You must have a Gas Safe registered engineer carry out a gas safety check annually on all gas appliances provided for the tenant. You are not responsible for tenant owned appliances, although you are responsible for the parts of the associated installation and pipework.

If there are “common areas” in your domestic property - E.G. a communal hallway and stairwell or shared garage - then any appliances, fittings and flues which may be used by tenants are also the landlords responsibility. In circumstances where you (the landlord) are not also the building owner then you must work with the building owner to ensure that all appliances, fittings and flues are checked, maintained, and are safe.

Prior to a new tenant moving in you must provide a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, for existing tenants the Gas Safety Certificate must be provided no later than 28 days from the survey date. You will need to keep the Gas Safety Certificates on record for a minimum of two years.

Any concerns found during the check must be rectified by a Gas Safe registered engineer before the appliance is used again - it is an offence to use/allow the use of any gas appliances that are known to be unsafe.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in financial penalties up to £20,000 per offence and/or a custodial sentence (imprisonment) of 6 months.

Need a Gas Safety Certificate? Get your no obligation or hidden fees quote today.

Commercial Landlord

As a commercial landlord you have a legal duty of care to both the tenants and visitors of your property(s) and therefore will need to get annual gas safety checks to ensure that the property and it’s appliances are safe.

Need a Gas Safety Certificate? Get your no obligation or hidden fees quote today.

Property Owners and Employers

Domestic property owners are not legally obligated to have annual gas safety checks, however it is highly recommended that they do due to the severe consequences of having a leaky or broken gas appliance/pipework or blocked flue.

Employers (or the self employed) are legally required to ensure that any gas appliance, pipework or flue in any property under their control are maintained to prevent risk of people being harmed, meaning that they will also need annual Gas Safety checks.

Need a Gas Safety Certificate? Get your no obligation or hidden fees quote today.

For more landlord resources and information click here.

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