Legal Q&A: Do you need a gas safety certificate when selling a flat?

My son is trying to sell his flat and the estate agent says he needs a gas safety certificate. There are no tenants and my son has been living there alone, so is this required?
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Question: Is it necessary to provide a gas safety certificate when selling a residential property? The agents who are selling my son’s flat say that he needs to do this. My son does not have any tenants and has been living in the flat on his own.
Answer: Your son is not obliged to provide a gas safety certificate. If he was a landlord, he would be responsible for the safety of his tenants in relation to gas and would have to ensure that an annual gas safety check was carried out, and that he kept a record of that check.
His solicitor will ask him to complete a property information form, which includes a section relating to the central heating system.
Your son will have to disclose such matters as the type of central heating system in the flat, when it was installed, whether it is in good working order and if it has been serviced recently.
If it has been serviced and he has a copy of the inspection report he should supply that, but he does not need to employ a gas safe registered engineer to inspect and provide a gas safety certificate.
Of course, if the buyer threatens to pull out if such a certificate is not provided, then your son may decide to meet the cost of getting it.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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