21 November 2018 3044 Views
Landlord Gas Safety Certificate: How to Keep Your Tenants Safe
There are plenty of safety considerations when renting out a property. Arguably, one of the most important of those is your Gas Safety Certificate - a document required by law. The Gas Safety Certificate (or Gas Safety Record) acknowledges that the required safety checks have been carried out on the gas appliances supplied by the landlord in the rented property. These checks (which must be carried out by a qualified, Gas Safe registered engineer like those at British Gas) are crucial to keeping your tenants safe around gas and form part of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
What information does a gas safety record contain?
According to the Gas Safe Register, the record must show:
The date that the engineer checked the appliances
Identifying information of the appliance/flue
The address at which these appliances were checked
The name and address of the landlord
Any safety defects and subsequent actions required to fix the issue
The results of the safety checks which have been carried out
The engineer’s details: their name, signature and registration number
Some forms also contain the option for the engineer to comment on the condition of the pipes (as landlords also have a legal responsibility to maintain these safely). Once the certificate has been issued, you have 28 days to supply a copy to the tenant (you should keep a copy filed away safely, until two further checks have been completed) a copy should also be provided to new tenants.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm
Since the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force, it is law that private landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm must be present in any room where solid fuel is burnt. Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are widely available and require little-to-no installation.
Ensure gas appliances are serviced in line with manufacturer recommendations
There is much more to safety around gas appliances than an annual safety check – part of the responsibility of a landlord lies around ensuring the gas appliances are maintained in a safe, working order. For this reason, appliances should be serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and the work should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Schedule a yearly gas safety check
To preserve the anniversary date of your Gas Safety Certificate, it is a legal requirement to schedule an annual gas safety check, something which comes as standard with any British Gas HomeCare plan each contract year.  The checks must cover supplied gas appliances, and extend to the associated paperwork. Tenant-owned appliances aren’t included in the requirement, however, it is generally good practice to send the tenant a reminder to have their appliance tested by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You should also consider having all flues included within the safety check: regardless of whose appliance they serve, by doing so, this may fulfil the duties of a landlord under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974. 
Know how to turn the gas off
Making your tenants aware of important information such as the location of the gas supply, how to turn it off and the National Gas Safety number are all crucial to ensuring your tenants know how to respond in an emergency.
A relatively simple document; the Gas Safety Certificate is fundamental to legally renting a property - without it, landlords can face both imprisonment and fines of up to £20,000 per violation. By following the easy steps and checks above, you can maintain your gas safety record and most importantly, keep your tenants safe.