It is September, and new tenants are arriving in their student accommodation across the country. Landlords are happy because they have new tenants, and the tenants will be happy if the standard of accommodation is up to scratch.

Part of the responsibility of the landlord in this transaction is to ensure the property is safe. Therefore, each year, a Gas Safe registered technician should inspect and certify gas appliances to guarantee the landlord meets the legal and moral obligations of their role.

What is a Gas Safety Certificate?

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must make sure all appliances, fittings, chimneys and flues are safe and working efficiently. Consequently, if you are letting a property with gas appliances installed, you are required to have an annual gas safety inspection carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If the engineer states that the property is Gas Safe, they will issue a CP12 certificate, your gas safety certification. Once issued, they will set a new deadline for a check for 12 months in the future.

You are required as a landlord to present a record of these checks to tenants entering your student accommodation.

In 2018, there was an amendment to these regulations that offered more flexibility to the landlord around the renewal of gas safety records. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) realised that a requirement for “within 12 months” meant that landlords were forced to complete checks every 11 months to meet regulations. Therefore, lawmakers introduced new flexibility to have your check done in months 11 and 12 and maintain the deadline date. The record will state that the check was completed on the last day of the 12 month validity period. In short, you will not be penalised for getting in early with your safety checks and ensuring your property is ready for new tenants.

The check should only take about 30 minutes, though it may take longer if repairs are required before certification. If defects are discovered, the engineer will use different codes on the certificate – Immediately Dangerous (ID), At Risk (AR) or Not to current standards (NCS). If coded ID or AR, the engineer will request permission to disconnect the gas supply.

What other Gas Safety regulations exist?

An obvious consequence of the gas safety check could be a requirement for maintenance. If your Gas Safe registered engineer reports problems and cannot issue the certification, you will be obliged to undertake the work required to bring them up to a safe condition. Your engineer will work to guidelines provided by the manufacturers.

Your annual gas safety check does not cover installation pipework, and it is highly recommended that you request this on top of the standard checks. The engineer will then test for tightness on the whole system and visually inspect pipework where it is reasonably possible.

There is no legal requirement for this additional inspection and maintenance work. However, you may want to consider this part of your moral duty to keep your tenants safe.

What is a Gas Safe registered engineer?

The Gas Safety Register is a list of businesses permitted to work on gas appliances and installations. The engineer is issued with a Gas Safe ID card and should have this on display when they come to do work on your properties. You must check this ID card before they carry out work in your house.

As Gas Safe registered engineers, we can do the checks that will keep your tenants safe and offer you peace of mind. We also offer electrical safety checks too, as regulations state systems should be checked at intervals of no more than five years. Paine Manwaring offers comprehensive landlord services and we can cover all legal requirements for your property. Get in touch with us today for more information.