This week is Gas Safety Week, and a member asked a question on our forum recently about advice she had received from an engineer regarding gas safety certificates.
The landlord was in the situation where two gas safety certificates had expired at two of her properties.
She had booked her usual engineer to carry out tests prior to the gas safety certificates on each of her properties expiring.
However, the engineer was very busy and was unable to carry out the necessary checks before the gas safety certificates on the two properties expired.
The engineer told the landlord that this was nothing to worry about, and that because she had booked in the gas safety check prior to the certificates expiring, that the certificates would still be valid.
Gas Safety certificates are valid for twelve months, and the engineer’s advice was incorrect.
Suspicious of the advice she had received, the member visited the RLA forum to ask whether the engineer’s advice was true.
When the member posted her question on the forum, other members were very quick to jump in, informing the member that indeed the engineer’s advice was incorrect.
One member posted, correctly, that it is a legal requirement for all landlords to have an up to date gas safety certificate on their property.
Gas safety certificates must be valid, and failure to follow gas safety requirements is a criminal offence and can be punished by fines or imprisonment. In addition, for new tenancies starting on or after 1st October 2015, landlords who fail to provide a gas safety certificate to the tenants will not be able to serve a section 21 notice on the tenant.
Another member added to this, and reinforced the fact that the landlord herself could be held liable for any consequences if she did not have a valid gas safety certificate for each of the tenanted properties.
Another member advised the landlord that on the basis of the incorrect advice that she received, she should next time book with a different engineer. She was advised to ensure that the engineer that she books next time is on the Gas Safe Register, to ensure the they are genuine.
At this point, our Landlord Advice Team stepped into the conversation.
An adviser reiterated the fact that for a landlord to be renting out their property legally, landlords must obtain a gas safety certificate, and they must provide tenants with a valid certificate before they move in or within 28 days (this is 28 days to present the certificate and not to be confused with 28 days leeway to carry out the gas safety check) of them moving and to never have a property without a valid gas certificate in the future.
Report the engineer
Our LAT advisor also reiterated a member’s advice, that she should check the gas safety register website to ensure the engineer or plumber she books next time is registered.
The RLA advisor also advised the member that the while it was her choice, it might be a good idea to report the engineer based on the poor advice and lack of professionalism the member experienced from him.
As well as seeking another engineer who is registered, the member was advised to make sure the engineer is local to the properties, so that the gas safety check could be completed without further delay.
The RLA run courses on Utility Safety, which can be seen here:
To read the forum post please see here.