Play it safe, get a gas certificate

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty, looks at the importance of obtaining a gas safety certificate for your home
Gas certificate cartoon
© Malcolm Willett (www.willett-ink.co.uk)
Question: We are buying an investment property and can’t decide whether to do it up and sell it at a profit, or do it up and let it out, to provide an income.

If we do let it, we’ll need all the paperwork, but the estate agent says the seller is being difficult about the new Gas Safe Register. We are confused. What is this register and doesn’t CORGI take care of all that?

Answer: Apparently, most people admit in surveys that they know almost nothing about managing the risks associated with using gas in the home - so you are not alone.

Since 1 April 2009 the Gas Safe Register has replaced CORGI as the list of approved UK gas engineers.

Poorly maintained and incorrectly installed gas appliances can cause carbon-monoxide poisoning but most Home Buyer Surveys and Home Information Packs do not include a gas safety certificate.

That is why it is important that you or your solicitor specifically ask your seller to provide one. This should show that a CORGI-registered engineer (if it was before 1 April 2009) or a Gas Safe Register engineer (after that date) checked the property’s gas appliances.

If the seller refuses to provide a certificate then you should arrange for your own safety check using, of course, a Gas Safe Register engineer.

If you decide to let the property and the lease is for less than seven years, as the landlord, you’ll be responsible for your tenants’ safety and you will be required by law to have annual gas safety checks. You will be obliged to issue a copy of this very important safety certificate to your tenants before they move in.

You must keep a copy of the certificate for two years. Clearly, the estate agent is aware of gas safety regulations and is concerned about the present situation.

What's your problem?


If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.

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