It is absolutely critical that landlords ensure that they carry out their gas safety certificates before they are due.
You are potentially at risk in the event that a gas safety is not carried out on the due date. If a tenant dies after carbon monoxide escape you would be liable. This could result in not only a fine but potentially prison. It has happened!
New rules have come into place in 2020 regarding gas safety checks. These can now be carried out earlier than before. The landlord can carry them up two months before the due date but keep the same renewal date. The renewal date is the deadline in which the renewal needs to be carried out.
Another amendment was made to the regulations. The landlord retains the last two records instead.
You also must serve on the tenant the gas safety. They then must acknowledge within 30 days. This can be made easier now checks can be carried out two months before. Under the new Deregulation Bill (see previous article here) It is not acceptable just to send it in the post to the tenant. You would either must send it by recorded delivery. Or you may have to physically put it through the door of the property. You would then have to record the date and time which you did it. Without doing this you are unable to serve a Section 21 Notice.
WHAT IS A GAS SAFETY CHECK?
Do you know what it actually covers? It covers the following:-
- Check with the occupant to determine if there are any problems with the gas installation/appliance.
- Check that all gas appliances have an adequate supply of air.
- Ensure the effective operation of an appliance, control taps and ignition system and any supervision device is fitted.
- Inspect the flame picture of any burner
- Check clearances for combustible materials eg. Kitchen cupboards etc.
- Ensure the stability of the appliance (including the supply of bracket of hook and chain on gas cookers)
- Inspect the gas installation pipework and where applicable any flexible connections
- Open flues:-
- Check the condition and full route of the flue. Where applicable, ensure any terminal/chimney pot is suitable
- Inspect the appliance connection to any flue liner or chimney. In the case of a black back boiler check the seals of all pipe ducts and voids entering the buildings opening.
- Perform a flue flow check
- For a gas fire, inspect it and clear the catchment space, check that any dampers have been removed or fixed in the open position.
- Using any guidance given and manufacturer instructions, test the appliance for spillage
- Room sealed appliances:-
- Inspect case and site glass seal on appliance replace it if necessary
- Check the position of the terminal. Clearance for corners, vegetation etc. Ensure terminal guide is fitted as appropriate.
- Check the operating pressure or heat input rate or, where necessary, ensure both are correct
- Test all controls to ensure that the operation is satisfactory.
- Test all disturbed gas connections for tightness using leak detection fluid. Carry out a full gas tightness test if necessary.
- Inform the gas user of any further work required or make recommendations as necessary
- Further information can be found on the Health and Safety Executive webpage here.
If a wall or ceiling hides the chimney/flue preventing its inspection. An inspection hatch should be fitted. Gas safety guidance states to classify the chimney/flue as a risk if it cannot be inspected. You will need to ensure that your gas engineer checks everything for you.
It is so important for landlords to carry these out correctly. It is critical for people’s health that these checks take place. We would always advise landlords to have it done as early as possible. We use a system whereby we can serve it on the tenant and have them acknowledge it in writing. Most landlords also don’t realise that they have to be served every year and failure to do so will affect a Section 21 Notice. Please contact the Administration Department on (01273) 749169 to discuss it.