According to the law, landlords must conduct gas safety checks on their homes by a gas safe registered engineer. All of your house flues, gas heaters, stoves, and pipes have to be inspected every year so that the safety of your tenants is assured.
Without a gas certificate, landlords cannot sell or let their properties. The inability to provide a gas safety record can lead to heavy fines and may even land you in prison!
Gas leaks can be fatal and have accounted for the unintentional loss of lives due to gas explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning in the past. To prevent such accidents gas safety regulations have been imposed and gas safety checks are a must.
In this guest post, we take an in-depth look into the gas safety regulations that every landlord must know.
What Are Gas Safety Checks?
In simple terms, a gas safety check is the inspection of any and every gas-powered appliance in a property to ensure its proper functioning.
1. Gas Safety Regulations
According to gas safety regulations, landlords are legally responsible for the maintenance of all gas appliances and pipelines of their homes. These include pipelines that lead to any gas appliance, the appliance itself, and vents leading from the appliance. Gas safety checks must be carried out by a licensed gas safety engineer every year.
2. What Happens During a Gas Safety Check?
During the gas safety inspection, an authorised gas safety engineer will examine all of your property’s gas systems, such as gas meters, heaters, stoves, cylinders, and ovens.
The processes involved during the gas safety check are:
- Visual observation of all gas devices.
- Checking the colour of burner flame on all gas devices.
- Testing and noting down gas flow rate and burner pressure.
- A gas tightness test at your property’s gas meter (for identifying gas leaks).
- Examining the emissions of all your instruments.
- Assessing the pressure vessel of your boiler.
- Cleaning of your boiler’s condensate trap.
- Assessing the ventilation system for proper air circulation.
- Inspection of the boiler’s ventilation system.
- Checking for faults in your heating system, such as radiators or hot water cylinders.
- Correct connection of appliances to gas pipes.
- Assessment of safety devices.
Remember, a gas safety check doesn’t include repairing faulty devices. For repairs, you will have to book an appointment for a gas service.
3. How Can You Order a Gas Safety Check?
You can order a gas safety check by booking an appointment with a registered gas safety engineer. To make sure that you book with an authorised gas engineer, a Gas Safe Register is available that contains all firms licensed for gas safety work. These firms consist of registered gas safety engineers who have a gas safe ID card.
However, not all gas safety engineers can do all forms of safety checks, so make sure to check out their ID card before your inspection. The ID card mentions the services the gas safety engineer can offer.
4. How Much Does a Gas Safety Check Cost?
A gas safety check cost varies on the following factors:
- The gas safety engineer appointed
- Location of your property
- Number of gas appliances that need to be checked
- Urgent repairs needed
On average, a gas safety check costs £35.00 – £150.00.
5. What Happens If I Don’t Get a Gas Safety Certificate?
Disobeying the gas safety regulations is a criminal offence. If you’re unable to present a gas safe certificate or record to the local authorities, it can cause you to face hefty fines and even a six month imprisonment.
With an increased risk of gas hazards, your local government can take immediate action, such as prohibiting you from letting your property or imposing repair notices.
What are the Gas Safety Responsibilities of a Landlord?
Landlords must make sure that their gas equipment is examined by an authorised gas safety engineer.
1. Get Annual Gas Safety Checks
The gas safety regulations make it obligatory for landlords to have all of their gas pipelines, devices, and flues checked by a gas safety engineer. It’s recommended to follow the servicing time pointed out in the manual guides of your gas instruments.
However, if the manual is unavailable, get your devices assessed by the gas engineer and follow their advice on their maintenance. Usually, they recommend inspection of your gas devices once a year.
A gas safety certificate expires one year after a safety check has been made. Thus, landlords must renew the gas safety certificate of their rented property every 12 months.
2. Maintain a Gas Safety Record
After a gas safety engineer conducts a gas safety check or repairs gas appliances, documentation is provided to the landlord for their rental property. This is called a Gas Safety Record. It serves as proof that there has been gas safety checks on your property.
A copy of the record has to be given by law to your tenants within 28 days of conducting the gas safety check, or on the first day a new tenant moves into your building.
3. Ensure an Acceptable Gas Safety Rating on the A – G scale
The Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK derived a grading system to assess the efficiency of gas boilers which rated boilers A-G. However, this system was discontinued in 2009, and a new scale was introduced by the Energy-related Products Directive.
It stated that the latest boilers would be given a score of either A+ or A, whereas the traditional pilot-lit boilers would be given a C or D. This is the scale currently being followed in the UK.
Now You Know Why Landlords Must Get a Gas Safety Check
To recap, gas safety regulations serve as a shield from potential gas hazards that can harm you, visitors, or your tenants. If a gas safety record isn’t available or outdated, local authorities may ban further renting, levy unlimited fines, or declare imprisonment. With regular gas safety checks, you can ensure that all your gas heating and venting systems are in working order.
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