As all landlords know, their responsibilities don’t just end with collecting rents and showing units to prospective tenants. Landlords need to have at least a nodding acquaintance with plumbing, electricity, carpentry, household vermin, fire and occupancy laws, and crucially need to have a gas safety check performed at least once a year. And that’s where we come in for if you are a landlord who is in need of a gas safety check and based in either Bromley, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Petts Wood, Chislehurst, Beckenham, Bickley, Keston, Otford and St Paul Cray, then we are here to help.
Many busy landlords, overseeing the running of multiple units, allow staff or contractors to take care of the practical applications of maintenance and other tasks that come with renting residences and commercial space. But one task that landlords should be directly involved with concerns the natural gas that heats and powers buildings. Not only should landlords and property owners be aware of how to access and turn gas on and off within these buildings, it is within their best interests to know exactly what their obligations and responsibilities are requiring the use of natural gas and natural gas powered appliances in buildings that they oversee.
British Law for Gas Safety Checks
By British law, all those that are legally defined as landlords are required to conduct an annual gas safety check on anything within or outside of a property that requires natural gas for operation. This gas safety check (known as a CP 12) requires that a landlord make an appointment with a registered gas engineer, who will inspect the gas line itself, in addition to any appliances on the property affected by it. The gas engineer will also make note of any found gas problems on the property. The engineer will then place these findings within an official record or report.
If all looks well on properties employing natural gas and natural gas using products, a gas safety certificate is issued. This certificate and the engineer’s report are good for one year. (Commercial property and private homeowners must follow other gas safety plans). In addition to landlords, tenants can request a copy of the certificate.
Any individual who meets the formal definition of a landlord and who does not have such inspections done can be criminally prosecuted. Such prosecution can result in fines, or imprisonment, or both. So there are lots of reasons why a landlord would not want to forget to make sure that these safety records are kept up to date, and to make sure that these inspections are done annually. But beyond that, how much can a landlord participate in a gas safety inspection? And can a landlord get the required training and certification himself or herself to do their own gas safety certification inspections?
Gas Safety Checks Must Be Performed By Professionals
Unless a landlord is a registered Gas Safe engineer, he or she may not conduct gas safety inspections, write reports, or issue certificates. A landlord does participate however, by showing the inspecting engineer whatever areas he or she needs to look at as part of the inspection, which includes:
1. Checking flues and brackets,
2. Checking for leaks and tightness,
3. Checking pressure readings and burner operation.
While gas safety inspectors under CP12 can turn off gas if they find hazardous situations during an inspection, they seldom make such repairs themselves. This means that a landlord can lose both time and money if they don’t have a plan and contractor already in place to make repairs as the need for them arises. Landlords can also stay ahead of gas inspection issues by doing some preventative maintenance. For example, items such as boilers and furnaces should be inspected by qualified technicians annually, who should also do any replacements or repairs needed at that time. For reasons of safety, and to avoid damage to these items, these same technicians should be the only ones to install, move, or disconnect these appliances.
But there is plenty that landlords can do in their official capacity to protect gas lines, gas appliances, and tenants between inspections. In addition to learning to recognise odors, leaks, and noises that are inappropriate in regards to normal functioning, landlords can create their own checklists. For example:
1. Landlords should not permit children and inappropriate tenants access to gas lines or gas appliances.
2. Tenants should not be permitted to hang on, swing from, or hang or place items on gas piping.
3. Landlords should not store, nor permit tenants to store, rags, paper, paint, or other flammable materials near gas appliances.
4. When lighting or relighting gas appliances, landlords should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always light the match before turning on the gas.
5. Landlords should remember to check outdoors as well as indoors for potential gas problems. For example, is your chimney’s flue tight, clean, and free of debris such as bird nests? Commercial property owners and private homeowners are advised to draw up similar lists for their own purposes. In doing so, not are they guaranteeing the safe and uninterrupted flow of gas to properties, they’re saving money and time, and doing the work that they’re meant to be doing without interruptions to their busy schedules.
Why Choose Us?
- We are a CIPHE, Gas Safe registered company,
- We have over 20 years experience working with gas,
- We specialise in boiler repairs, servicing and providing gas safety check certification,
- We service properties throughout Kent and South London.