December 19, 2022

What Happens If You Don't Have A Gas Safety Certificate?

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Being a landlord comes with various responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is getting a gas safety certificate. As a landlord, you are expected to conduct a gas safety check for each property you own from time to time, especially for properties that you let out to tenants.

According to the law, landlords must provide a safe place to their tenants. Otherwise, they have to face legal consequences. If you want to find out what these consequences are, read on. In this article, we will discuss the importance of having a gas certificate and outline the steps landlords can take to ensure compliance.

What Is a Homeowners Gas Safety Certificate?

UK's law divides gas certificates into residential, commercial and new build certificates, and the Homeowners' gas safety certificate is another name given to residential gas safety certificates (CP12).

It is a certificate that is issued by a Gas Safe Register accredited and licensed engineer, and it proves that all the gas appliances in the domestic/residential property, such as the gas cookers, flues, and boilers, are safe to use.

It is valid for 12 months, which means that you will have to get one every year.

What If You Don't Have Gas Appliances?

Now, you must be wondering if there is a need for any safety certificates if your property doesn't have gas appliances. Although there might be no gas appliances, there is bound to be a live gas supply line, and as long as there is one, you will have to get a gas inspection certificate.

Only if there is no gas supply would you be exempt from inspection. However, your tenants will be responsible for getting a gas safety check for the gas appliances they bring to your property. On the other hand, you will only need to ensure that the gas supply is safe.

How To Obtain a Gas Safety Certification?

In order to get a gas inspection certificate, you should hire a Gas Safe registered engineer. Make sure to visit the Gas Safe Register website to check the registration of the engineer who will have to inspect all the gas appliances and flues on your property..

If any problems are found, the engineer will record them and perform necessary repairs. Once the appliances are found to be perfectly safe, the professional will complete their assessment, and your certificate will be delivered to you within a couple of days with a full report.

Keep in mind that you will have to hand over the gas inspection certificate to your existing tenant within 28 days (about 4 weeks). As for new tenants, you must provide them with the latest gas safety certificate.

What If Something Goes Wrong After You Have Obtained the Certificate?

Since a gas safety inspection occurs once every 12 months, it is still possible for something to go wrong. Appliances might not be safe to use after a few months if they are not handled with care. Your tenants should know when to report a gas leak and how to contact you.

As a property owner, you should also consider installing carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that you are able to take action early on. Even though you are not legally obligated to do so, it is always better to be prepared.

What Happens If You Don't Have a Gas Inspection Certificate?

Landlords must conduct a gas safety inspection and obtain the relevant certificate, as the consequences tend to be serious. If you don't have a valid certificate, you could face a fine of up to £6,000 and prosecution under the Gas Safety Regulations. It is even possible to be placed in prison for up to six months.

Moreover, you may be subject to manslaughter charges if a tenant dies due to faulty gas appliances which weren't checked. A failure to carry out checks could land you in hot water. Also, you should know that strict action will be taken if you modify the gas inspection certificate.

Furthermore, a failure to obtain a gas inspection certificate would invalidate your insurance, and you will be unable to evict a tenant under section 21. Instead, you will have to follow a more complicated process.

Since a gas inspection certificate is relatively easy to obtain and is rather affordable, you have no choice but to hire a Gas Safe registered engineer. In fact, you should get a gas service contract to benefit from maintenance as well. Besides, the expert will remind you within 12 months of the last checks..

The Importance of Having a Gas Safety Certificate

To sum up, having a gas safety certificate is vital for landlords who own rental properties with gas appliances. Not only is it required by law in the UK, but it also helps to ensure the safety of the tenants and the property.

If a landlord fails to have a gas safety certificate, they could face severe consequences such as fines and legal action. It is the landlord's responsibility to make sure they have a current gas safety certificate and to schedule regular maintenance and inspections of the gas appliances.

By following these steps, landlords can safeguard themselves, their tenants, and their property and meet their legal obligations.

If you enjoyed reading about the consequences of not having a gas safety certificate, you might also be interested in our blog post on the importance of a landlord's responsibilities for gas safety, repair & maintenance. Click here to learn more.

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