Gas safety certificate should be a legal requirement for all households?

by Readers Question

13:26 PM, 24th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Gas safety certificate should be a legal requirement for all households?

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Gas safety certificate should be a legal requirement for all households?

So, you’re on this property forum because you are probably a landlord, and therefore probably own 2 or more properties either by choice or fate. Back in Dec 1996 I brought my first property to live in and a few years later while trying to help my family I became a landlord.

As with life things happen and I just went with the flow and now have 6 properties with me living in rented. The last property was purchased was in Oct-14 and at this point, I thought should I continue to grow my little empire, but the raft of governmental changes were still coming in thick and fast, so I stopped.

My yearly costs are going through the roof, this is what I put aside every year for legally required stuff on each property.
Gas £88.00
Electric EICR £35.00
Electric £80.00
EPC £10.00
HMO £265.00
Insurance £250.00
Building maintenance £1,222.00 (for leasehold properties)
Ground Rent £15.00 (for leasehold properties)
Legionnaires’ Certificate £12.50

Then I must pay Agency fees, every 10 years something will break which is another +£1000 a year to set aside. Typical replacement costs:-
Oven £300.00
Hob £200.00
Fridge £200.00
Freezer £200.00
Washing Machine £400.00
Boiler £3,000.00
Taps etc. £200.00
Carpets £3,000.00
Paint £3,000.00

I could then be forced to make EPC upgrades every 10 years costing £10,000.00

Then we also have to deal with:-
1) the taxes
2) Mortgages
3) General repairs that you’ve never thought of
4) the failure of tenants to pay followed by court costs
5) Letters from the council threatening court action over the noise someone makes.
6) Letters from the council threatening court action because the tenant committed fraud.
7) Property turned into a cannabis factory and the police refusing to return the keys for 6 months due to an ongoing investigation.

Yes, I’ve had all these and more. My personal favourite was being threatened by the council because someone smoked something ‘strange’ on the footpath in front of my house, and they informed me that if I didn’t take action they would evict my tenants. I asked for their lawyer’s name as they must be really good as I can’t get them out. They declined.

So is it worth being a landlord?

I don’t know anymore but I do know that we are in this together and that a trouble shared is a trouble halved which got me to thinking how do I spread this pain so I’ve raised a petition ‘Gas safety certificate for all gas households’.

I know that natural gas will be phased out and probably replaced with hydrogen (maybe, maybe not) assuming the government makes a decision, but hydrogen is still as gas, so I think the title of the petition is correct.

I decided to go with the following because I think health and safety is fairly persuasive, to all

A yearly gas safety certificate should be a legal requirement for all households that uses gas of any sort. Every year people are killed or maimed in gas explosions. It also affects neighbours and people simply passing by the property. Surely we have the right to feel safe in our own homes. And I added this because if we are every going to change be it hydrogen boilers, heat pumps or something else we still need people to do the work.

If we checked every house we would need 22k engineers, creating new jobs & these engineers would be in place ready for the role out of hydrogen I understand that this will cost you money as well as you are probably living in your own home but:
As a landlord I think if I must have one, then everyone should.
As a homeowner I do not think it necessary, but I consider myself to be fairly responsible and don’t play with gas. (who’s heard that before)
As a tenant, I would think it doesn’t matter as the landlord must get it done.

I now realise that however safe we make our own properties we are only as safe as our neighbours ie What happens to me, my family, my house if the neighbour’s house explodes at best I have weeks of disruption with builders repairing the other house and worst case is everyone in my house is killed because my house collapses and kills everyone while they are asleep.

Now assume the house next door to your BTL goes up, who’s going to be in court charged with homicide or something else as the public will want to see heads roll. While this is happening the insurance will argue about who has to pay, and you’ll still have to pay your mortgage and of course you’ll have to find somewhere for your tenant to live so is another £100 a year really that hard to swallow as a landlord.

You should also know that if this gets approved it’s likely that someone in the houses of parliament will have to pay to get their gas tested. So not only do you get to spread the pain you get to stick it to the government.

So will you sign it? Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/579794

David

Comments

Turhan Mustafa

12:00 PM, 25th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Mike,
Quite right any excuse, for more bureaucracy, Bahamas sounds great. I liked the finishing touch on stress levels, funny but becoming a grim reality ....
For other landlord escape options, try tuning into TV documentary Ben Fogle well worth a watch....

Dennis Leverett

13:50 PM, 25th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago

I understand the thought behind it but I was Corgi registered for a few years because my business at time demanded it. As with electrical inspections, I could inspect today then tomorrow some idiot could do something stupid making it all a waste of time. I have seen many extremely dangerous adaptions done by idiots. Possibly make it a requirement when a property is sold, that sounds more sensible. Please no more money grabbing schemes its the tenant that will have to pay but no-one pays for our time to get it all done.

blair

18:52 PM, 27th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago

I think your comments are interesting and have a point. I certainly agree with you on gas safety certificates. New boilers are so ultasafe year it's over kill.

All homes needing gas safety certificate - god point but at least owners who do AirBNB should have electric and gas safety checks plus fire risk assessments/escape signage etc. They are "renting" just like my tenants and are perhaps at greater risk because they are not familiar with the premises

Graham Bowcock

20:55 PM, 28th March 2021
About 3 weeks ago

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!
You're in business and every business has costs. If it doesn't work for you on the finances, then move onto something that does.

Personally I am a heavy investor into my properties so there isn't a day goes by without money going out. But it wokrs for me - my tenants stay a long time, they're easy to deal with and my property values are strong.

As for bringing owner occupiers into line, I understand the sentiment. Every owner occupied house I have bought has needed a good safety update. However, besides it being a bureaucratic nightmare, the difference is that tenants are regarded as vulnerable. If a landlord decides to be less than scrupulous, there's always a tenant waiting in the wings to move in (at a price). Owner occupiers are more able to make their own (informed) choices.

EHHS

13:05 PM, 30th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago

It might surprise some but gas safety checks should be carried out in owner occupied properties and that can be enforced by the council. They just tend to only enforce against private landlords.

HHSRS is tenure neutral so it applies to all tenures including O/O and under hazard 27, explosions, under preventative measures it is specified that the system should be regularly tested to ensure there are no leaks or other defects. Regular is not defined but every year seems reasonable. Councils usually do not seem to realise that they can enforce this themselves except under licensing or HMO management regs because they just tend to refer it to the HSE.

Mike

14:11 PM, 30th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago

when people are struggling to put food on their plates, and raiding food banks, the last thing they would want to do is spend £100 for a gas safety inspection, it will be up to the councils to check gas safety and condition of supply lines and appliances if they are perturbed or concerned about safety of gas explosions, then why not send their inspectors at their own cost to check premises randomly , yes and if their experts find any shortcomings they may disconnect the supply and then leave the home owner to get it fixed before they will allow the gas supply to be used again. Just as Police can stop cars randomly and examine the condition of tyres, and other critical components on a car and can issue fines, or impound a vehicle that is unfit for use on a public roads. I certainly won't be throwing my £100 for a gas safety certificate for my own peace of mind, I have nose that detects any gas leaks and can turn off my own gas, and get it fixed , besides I know the condition of my gas pipework, and appliances , much rather give away that £100 to a food bank to help those who can't put food on their plates.

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