Everything You Need to Know About Gas Safety Certificates as a Tenant
As a tenant when renting from a private landlord, there are a number of checks and tests that need carrying out on different parts of the property over regular intervals.
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If the property you are renting has a live gas supply, for example, a safety check will have to be carried out by a qualified professional who will subsequently issue the landlord with a gas safety certificate for the property.
Does my landlord need to have a gas safety certificate?
Your landlord has a legal obligation and duty of care under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 to arrange for an annual gas safety check at the rental property.
The check is carried out by an engineer that is registered with Gas Safe, and if asked to, the engineer will provide you with a Gas Safe ID card which will confirm that they are registered and qualified to carry out the necessary checks.
The test includes but is not limited to:
- checking that products of combustion such as fumes can be released and removed safely to the outdoors via the chimney for instance
- checks that a gas appliance burns properly supplemented by an adequate amount of fresh air
- checks that all safety devices used to supplement gas safety at the property such as fire alarms are working properly
If the safety check unravels faulty equipment or appliances, the engineer will shut those off and take appropriate measures to resolve the issue.
Once the check is complete the engineer will fill in a form known as the gas safety record, which will neatly summarise and list all of the checks they’ve carried out on appliances in the home as well as any faults that have sprung up.
As a tenant can I see the gas safety certificate?
As a tenant you will be provided with a copy of the gas safety certificate within a month of the check being carried out, and if you are a new tenant you should be provided with a copy of the existing report.
If you are not given the gas safety certificate, you are able to request it from your landlord.
What happens if my landlord doesn’t have a gas safety certificate?
If your landlord fails to provide the gas safety certificate, you can report them to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Currently, the landlord must arrange in advance for the gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months, in addition to keeping a record of the gas safety reports over the last two years.
Thus, it can be said that having a gas safety certificate is obligatory and compulsory as it is enforceable and failure to have one is punishable by law.
If after an initial request your landlord still fails to provide you with a gas safety certificate you could begin by reminding them that they are legally bound to do so by the Gas Safety Regulations 1998.
If following several requests to have a gas safety check carried out or to simply receive the gas safety certificate for the property your landlord still fails to do so, you are able to report them to the HSE via the LGSR1 form which is in essence a complainants notice.
If then your landlord still fails to carry out gas safety checks you are not able to directly sue your landlord, however the HSE can prosecute landlords that fail to meet their gas safety responsibilities and duty of care.
Due to the high volume of complaints received this process could take a significant amount of time or even see your complaint not fully dealt with. You should thus consider getting in touch with your landlord and come to an agreement over a gas safety check. That being said, a landlord’s failure to abide by current gas safety requirements and failure to ensure the safety of the tenant is a criminal offence.
The HSE will most certainly issue a formal caution to the landlord and if the problem is not resolved can go on down the lengthy route of prosecuting the landlord.