How to Get a Gas Safety Certificate
In the UK in 1998 the Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use) was introduced. This is a law that states that every owner of property which they intend to rent out, if it has gas installed on that property, the installation and appliances must be checked and approved by a qualified gas safety engineer in order to receive a valid gas safe certification. Each certification must be renewed annually.
This law only applies to landlords and their properties and on certification a landlord will receive a Landlord Gas Safety Record form (CP12) of which they must provide a copy to every tenant regardless of if that tenant has a gas appliance or not, provided they are in the same building as any gas appliance is located. New tenants are to receive a copy on moving into the property but a 28 day grace period is permitted before an existing tenant has to receive a copy.
HOW TO GET A GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE
If you are a landlord who has any gas appliances on their property, you must apply for certification from a Gas Safe registered engineer. The Gas Safe register is maintained by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and all qualified gas engineers have a responsibility to ensure they are on the register so they can receive their own unique Gas Safe ID with a seven digit number. The register exists to ensure that property owners who require certification, only use suitably qualified engineers.
The HSE is only responsible for maintaining the register, not regulating the fee a qualified gas engineer may charge for certification. This means that a registered gas engineer can charge his own fee and so landlords would be advised to get quotes from at least two before appointing one to certify their property. The charge may differ depending on how many gas appliances may be on a property but generally, for just one appliance, certification will start from as little as £35 but if several appliances are on a property, that charge could increase to as much £150.
As each CP12 is only valid for a 12 month period, landlords are also advised to make a note on their calendars for a qualified renewal check in 10 to 12 months’ time as not having a valid certificate is against the law.
WHO CAN ISSUE A GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE?
Although there may be unqualified engineers who offer to give certification, HSE has tried to avoid misrepresentation by advising landlords who are in need of certification to take the following precautions:
- Ask to see the gas engineer’s ID card
- Note the unique 7 digit ID number
- Check the number on the online register https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/
- Alternatively they can phone 0800 408 5500 or make an email enquiry to email@example.com
WHY IS A GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE IMPORTANT?
The use of gas and gas appliances can be dangerous if they are not correctly installed and connected. On a private property it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure their own safety however, it is not the responsibility of a tenant to check a property’s safety as they pay to rent a safe and secure space. On rented accommodations it therefore falls on the landlord to ensure a safe environment for their tenants.
As appliances and their connections can deteriorate over time, a one off certification is not a guarantee of prolonged safety and so the HSE insists on annual checks to be undertaken by suitably qualified engineers to afford all tenants a reasonable amount of safety during their complete rental period.