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Landlords: providing Gas Safety Certificates during lockdown

The practicalities of fulfilling your obligations to tenants

Whether you have an old flat that you rent out or a large property portfolio, you will know that you have an obligation, as a landlord, to keep your tenants safe from carbon monoxide poisoning through annual servicing and the provision of a Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate, also known as a CP12. You can see more information about this here.

In normal times, this is pretty straightforward: you arrange for their gas appliances to be serviced once a year and you provide them with the certificate. However, now that we’re in lockdown, things aren’t quite so simple, so if any of your CP12 certificates are due to expire over the next few weeks, what should you do? Hopefully, this post will clarify the position.

Are landlords still required to issue CP12 certificates during lockdown?

In short, yes – wherever possible. Servicing is an essential part of gas safety so it’s still really important that it is carried out. Under government guidelines, gas engineers are classed as essential workers and can continue to go into people’s homes to carry out repairs and maintain public safety, as long as social distancing guidelines are observed. There are, however, some scenarios that may prevent that. See below:

Can tenants refuse to give engineers access to the property?

Yes, as always you can’t enter without their consent. The law states that you must make reasonable attempts to gain access, which should be documented. If you can show this then you shouldn’t be penalised for the CP12 expiring. If your tenants do decline a service, try to find out why. It may be that they are vulnerable and wary about allowing someone into the property. You can try to reassure them and provide the working practice guidelines that the engineer is operating (social distancing, PPE etc) which may make them more comfortable. Ultimately though, it is their decision.

What if tenants are experiencing covid-19 symptoms?

An engineer should not be entering the property if anyone in the household is self-isolating due to symptoms, for the engineer’s safety and the safety of people in any further properties they would visit. Always ask the question before instructing an engineer to attend (the plumbing and heating company should also check this on the day of the visit). If they are experiencing symptoms you can arrange for a service to be carried out after the household has been symptom free for at least 7 days. Keep checking so that this can be carried out.

What if my usual plumbing and heating company is not offering servicing during lockdown?

You may find it more difficult than usual to engage a heating engineer to conduct the services as some are only offering emergency repairs at the moment. If your usual contractor is unable to help, you should seek to find an alternative provider.

Can I just wait until after lockdown to arrange servicing?

It’s still clear that if you can organise the servicing and comply with the regulations, then you still should because servicing is so important to gas safety. If you can’t because of the reasons outlined here then there is not much you can do but don’t assume that you can just leave it until a later date, you have to make reasonable attempts to get it done.

Make sure you keep copies of any correspondence with tenants to show you have made reasonable efforts to get the servicing done, especially if they are denying access for whatever reason.

More guidance is available on the Gas Safe website. At Plumbcare.com, we are offering servicing as well as emergency repairs and are available to help landlords out who may be unable to use their usual contractors.


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