Landlord’s gas certificate needed for a CHP system?

Landlord’s gas certificate needed for a CHP system?

9:59 AM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago 10

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Hello, I am going to rent out my modern (2017 build) 2-bedroom flat via a new letting agent. The heating and hot water are supplied by a combined heat and power plant (CHP) situated in the basement. The CHP unit is gas-fired and backed up by four large additional gas boilers.

All 42 flats are supplied with hot water with this system. The hot water supplied is not just for showers and washing up but also heats each flat individually by pipes under the floors carrying the hot water. Each flat has its own electricity meter for lighting, cooking etc.

The flat is all electric and no gas supply is in any of the flats. My new agent thinks that some kind of annual gas safety certificate is still needed because there is a gas supply to the building. Are they correct? Doesn’t make sense because if you lived in a block of flats and decided to have your gas boiler taken out and replaced with electric storage heaters then on that basis you would still need a gas certificate because your neighbour in the adjacent flat still had his gas boiler.

I always thought that the gas appliance always had to be in your property. Am I correct?

TIA,

Dennis


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Comments

Beaver

11:09 AM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

I don't know the answer to your question but I would be interested to know how the CHP system performs and what effect it has on your EPC rating.

Dennis Forrest

11:41 AM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 12/05/2023 - 11:09All the flats are B rated. In theory these CHP units are a good idea. You get what is basically an internal combustion engine which runs off gas and drives a generator to produce electricity which can be used communally for the block for things like lighting an the lifts. The clever bit is that the heat produced by the engine does not go to waste. It is surrounded by a water jacket and this hot water is circulated around the building to heat the flats. In cold weather the heat output is augmented by 4 conventional gas boiler. The problem is that these CHP systems are deliberately undersized because what can you do with the surplus electricity? Usage is quite low - all lighting is LED, lifts are used intermittently and apart from the cleaners vacuuming common areas very little electricity is used. We are currently being charged 25p per KWH and 45p per day standing charge. Not all that cheap really especially because all the servicing and repairs of this CHP unit and auxillary boilers comes out of our service charges.

David Smith

11:59 AM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

I don’t think you need a Gas Safety Certificate as there are no gas appliances or gas in the property.
What exactly can the Gas engineer test within the property? Nothing!!

Beaver

12:48 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Forrest at 12/05/2023 - 11:41
I see. That's interesting.

The reason I'm interested is that my next door neighbour's property has a low EPC rating and installing a micro-CHP system was one of the recommendations on the EPC to improve it.

Presumably on "The heating and hot water are supplied by a combined heat and power plant (CHP) situated in the basement" means that in the case of this flat you don't have access to the basement? And that somebody else controls the basement and supplies the heating and power?

Graham Bowcock

13:06 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

The building owner should be arranging annual gas safety checks on the boiler. This cerficate should be made available to all occupiers.

The advice is on the HSE's wesbite.

Dennis Forrest

13:49 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 12/05/2023 - 13:06
We are going to contact the management group for the block and see if they can send the safety certificates to us on a regular basis. No tenants or residents have access to the basement where the CHP unit and the auxiliary boilers are housed, only the management group and their appointed engineers. I was taken in there by the builder when we first bought the property for a brief look. The commercial auxiliary boilers are the size of large fridge freezers. I just don't know whether this certificate has to legally be given to the tenant before the tenancy starts as it is not a landlords gas safety certificate as referred to in the regulations.

Beaver

14:18 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Forrest at 12/05/2023 - 13:49
So if no tenant or resident has access to the basement but you have access as a landlord then it appears to me that you are entitled to something to say that the boiler or CHP unit is safe. CO poisoning is one of the risks, but one of the other risks is fire and that affects the entire building.

Dennis Forrest

15:34 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 12/05/2023 - 14:18
I did not have access as a landlord but just as a curious new purchaser. (bought off plan). The units had been installed but not yet commissioned.

Beaver

15:48 PM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Forrest at 12/05/2023 - 15:34
So you don't have access to the basement but presumably then there is some kind of formal or legal agreement with whoever provides the power and heat.

Judith Wordsworth

9:53 AM, 13th May 2023, About 10 months ago

The Freeholder, your Landlord as a Lessee, should have an annual Landlords Gas Safety Certificate (and service) carried out and should forward a copy to all Leaseholders along with the Buildings Insurance Policy documents each year.

Plus a copy of the EICR at every 5 year inspection.

You in turn should give a copy of the Gas Safety certificate and EICR to your tenants.

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