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articles > New Rules for Gas Safety
Articles > New Rules for Gas Safety - April 2009

Landlords are required by law to have in place at all times a current and valid record of the annual gas safety check undertaken by a suitably qualified engineer.Under new legislation from 1st April 2009 there is a change to a new gas safety body, as CORGI is being replaced.

New gas safety certificates are only valid if the engineer is
GAS SAFE registered.


All gas safety certificates must be issued by an engineer registered with the GAS SAFE REGISTER. All existing gas safety certificates issued prior to this date will remain valid until the due expiry date, even if that is after 1st April 2009.

This is the new Health and Safety Executive (H&SE) hallmark for UK gas safety; they will oversee and regulate the new safety body. Until April 2009 engineers who carried out works in rental properties, such as safety checks or installations had to be CORGI registered. Now for an engineer to carry out work in your property they must be registered with the GAS SAFE REGISTER.

Many landlords and some letting agents may fall foul of the law as they may not be aware of this important change to legislation and continue to use preferred tradesmen that are CORGI registered but who are not on the GAS SAFE REGISTER. Any gas safety certificate issued would not be valid and the landlord would be liable should anything go wrong during a tenancy.

If you are using a letting agent, make sure they are aware of this important change in legislation, if they are not aware; consider changing your agent as they should be protecting your interests not allowing landlords and tenants to be put severely at risk.

More than 50 people in Britain die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of poor installation, poor maintenance or failure or damage to a gas appliance in service, and death rates are rising.

Penalties for not complying with the Gas Installation (Safety and Use) Regulations 1998 for landlords are severe, and can include imprisonment.

The courts take a dim view of any failure to comply with ensuring the safety of a tenant and some landlords end up hitting the headlines as they fail to be diligent with the annual renewal and allow a lapse to occur. In March 2009 His Honour Judge Corrie fined a professional landlord with 193 properties in Northampton Crown Court, hitting him with £14,000 costs and a 2 year conditional discharge. At the hearing, His Honour Judge Corrie stressed that the authorities are right to be vigilant concerning such infringements - not only in terms of the individual, but also to maintain public confidence. He said: “For landlords large and small, there is a need to protect the public, particularly those who rent properties, to guard against gas explosions, which are potentially fatal. Not only this, but also asphyxiation”.

 

The message to all landlords is quite clear, BE VIGILANT, OBEY THE LAW OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. Make sure you are aware of when each certificate expires and plan ahead to have a new one issued by a GAS SAFE engineer.

 

Landlords who manage their own properties should check that their engineer carries the Gas Safe Register ID card with its own unique licence number. This can be done through the website at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or by telephoning 0800 408 5577

Article supplied by Mike Clarke Property Investor

 
 

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