Why do landlords need to arrange gas safety certificates?

By law, it is a landlord's responsibility to ensure that all appliances provided with their property are safe to use. Part of this responsibility involves
proving that their gas equipment is of no danger to anyone within the property.

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Arrange Gas Certificate

Gas safety certificates

A gas safety certificate can be obtained from any engineer on the Gas Safe Register. These certificates are valid for one year and will prove that all gas equipment in a property is safe to use. Landlords need to have this certificate renewed at least once a year. A copy should be issued to all tenants within 28 days of the latest gas safety test being completed or before any new tenants move in.

Those who fail to obtain a gas safety certificate are potentially putting the lives of their tenants at risk and could therefore receive a substantial fine or custodial sentence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Who needs a certificate?

Anyone who receives money from people staying in their property needs an up-to-date gas safety certificate, providing that they own and use gas appliances within their property. This applies to private landlords, homeowners with lodgers and those with employees living at their home. It also applies to hotels, B&Bs, hostels and most commercial property owners.

If tenants are using their own gas appliances then they are responsible for annual safety checks. Engineers will check every flue and gas appliance hosted in a property before issuing a gas safety certificate.

Where should I get a certificate from?

All engineers on the gas safety register are obliged to carry ID displaying what equipment they are qualified to work on. Only these engineers are able to issue gas safety certificates.

There is no cap on how much these engineers can charge. Some will charge a certain fee for every appliance they have to check, which could potentially become really expensive. Others will offer a fixed rate regardless of the home they are inspecting.

It's certainly worth getting a few quotes before deciding on an engineer. Property owners are advised to invest in engineers who have the latest equipment and can come at short notice.

Advice for tenants

Tenants who aren't produced a gas safety certificate upon request should make this fact known to the HSE, which will respond accordingly.

If tenants believe one of their gas appliances is faulty, they should turn off their gas supply and contact the National Grid. It is illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they suspect it is unsafe. Tenants should make their landlord aware of the situation.

Advice for landlords

Landlords who leave property maintenance issues to their letting agents should make sure that the contract specifies who is responsible for arranging gas safety checks. If nothing related to this is stated on the contract, then it will remain the property owner's responsibility. If a property is empty, it is still highly recommended to complete annual gas safety checks ready for when new tenants move in.

Those who follow these tips will ensure that their tenants are safe and that they will stay out of trouble with the law.