Gas Safe is in the news and it’s Gas Safety Week 18th-24th September so thought I would discuss this. I have a few points which even if you are familiar with Gas Safety Checks you might not know…
What is a Gas Safety Check?
This is an annual inspection that qualified Gas Engineers carry out who are registered with the Gas Safe Register. The Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI in 2009 so don’t ask for CORGI Registered contractors!
The Gas Engineers (they often don’t like being called plumbers) will check pressure, air supply, the boiler is burning cleanly, flues and chimneys are clear and safety features are working. One of the aims is to cut the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
How much do Gas Safety Checks cost?
Normally between £60 and £80. I would not pay more or less than this at the moment. A rushed check that you can find at £40 by googling cheap Gas Safety Checks is not something I would put my name to and at the other end of the scale why pay more?
Do they cover all appliances?
They cover all gas appliances which is mainly the boiler, gas hob and gas fires. Gas fires seem to be less common these days but they are covered.
If a tenant installs a gas appliance of their own you as a landlord aren’t responsible for a gas safety check, but you are responsible for the flues and pipework around it. Frankly I would check it as well and there is no room for doubt.
Is it a service?
No. In the same way an MOT for a car is not a service. The gas safety check is only a check.
I would recommend landlords have the boiler given an annual service at the same time as the check. Given that you have a qualified Gas Engineer looking at the boiler the servicing cost tends to be only £20 or £30 more which seems reasonable.
Are Gas Safety Checks mandatory?
Yes for landlords with gas appliances. The fines for not having a certificate could amount to £6,000 and or 6 months imprisonment.
Personally I want nothing to do with properties without a valid Gas Safe Check two reasons
- These fines penalties could apply to us as managing agents
- I don’t want to deal with landlords, who understanding the risks still place tenants at risk afterall one in six London homes has an appliance tested which is are found to be unsafe.
Whet the check is completed I would keep a copy of the Gas Safety Check for 6 years. Two is normally requested if you have contact with councils etc but 6 years is the normal statute of limitations