The CP12 form, or gas safety certificate, is the old name for what is now called the ‘landlord gas safety record’. It is a legal requirement to have a CP12 for any UK rental property.
A landlord’s statutory duty to obtain a CP12 is outlined in regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998. As a buy-to-let landlord, you need to know how to get gas safety checks done and what information to record.
Your responsibilities for gas safety are as follows:
- All pipe work, gas appliances and flues in your property must be in a safe condition.
- A Gas Safe registered engineer must carry out annual checks and maintenance on all gas equipment in the property.
- You must provide a record of an annual check to your tenants within 28 days, or to new tenants at the start of a tenancy.
- Any unsafe gas equipment must be made safe or removed before re-letting a property.
You also need to keep a record of a gas safety check for at least two years.
There is no standard CP12 form, as Gas Safe Register does not produce its own. Most companies who provide gas safety checks also provide their own forms. As a minimum, a CP12 must document:
- the location of each appliance and flue checked, and a description (type, manufacturer, model etc.)
- the date checked
- any problems found and the action taken
- the address of the property
- your name and address (or your letting agent’s, if appropriate – see below)
- the name, registration number and signature of the Gas Safe registered engineer carrying out the check
- a statement to the effect that the safety check complies with either:
- The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (for Great Britain and the Isle of Man); or
- The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004
Can I design my own CP12 template?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), you can design your own CP12 for an engineer to complete. It must contain all of the information above, and only a Gas Safe registered engineer may complete it. Otherwise, it will not be valid.
Is having a CP12 a legal requirement?
Yes. If you have gas equipment in your property, the law requires that you have a valid and up-to-date CP12.
Providing a copy of the CP12 for your tenants
If your property is occupied, you must give your tenants a copy of the CP12 within 28 days of the gas check. If a new tenant is about to move in, you should provide them with a copy of the most recent check beforehand.
You can email your tenant an electronic copy if they are happy for you to do so. If requested, you must also provide a paper copy. You can also store the record electronically, as long as it is secure and legible, and hard copies are available on demand.
Multiple appliances can be checked on a single CP12
One gas safety record or CP12 will provide details of every item checked. You don’t need a separate record for each appliance and flue, though the engineer must fully check each piece of gas equipment before completing the record.
Gas safety for houses of multiple occupation
If you have an HMO, you may display the gas safety record in a communal area. Make sure that it is legible and prominent. It should also tell your tenants where they can get a copy of the notice.
As with providing this information in person, you must place the notice within 28 days or before the start of a new tenancy. You must also tell your tenants where the notice is.
Other gas safety questions
What if any gas appliances are unsafe?
The engineer will still hand over the form once they have finished the gas safety check. The record will indicate whether any appliances are defective and whether further action is needed.
Engineers may attempt minor repairs on the spot. For larger repair jobs, you will need to hire another engineer to carry out the repair. When they have done so, they should update the CP12 so that there is a permanent record of the remedial action.
What happens if I don’t have a CP12?
Faulty gas appliances can be a serious health concern. They can cause carbon monoxide problem and sometimes even explosions. This is why the CP12 is a legal requirement.
If you don’t arrange annual gas checks and don’t have an in-date landlord gas safety record, the HSE may caution or prosecute you.
Even though you need to keep records for two years, a CP12 is only valid for 12 months. If a new tenancy begins before this 12-month period elapses, you can give the new tenants copies of the current record, but you must arrange another check before the period ends.
Can letting agents arrange a CP12?
If you would like your agent to handle gas safety arrangements and keep records, your management contract with them should specify this. This indemnifies you if they fail to carry out their duties).
How much does a CP12 cost?
Many companies offer gas safety inspections and landlord gas safety records, and prices vary. Some provide options from a simple meter check to multiple appliance checks. An online search will identify many companies in your area who handle gas safety checks.
Ensure that the company that conducts the check is registered with Gas Safe Register. To find or check an engineer in your area, visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk.
Your duty of care to your tenants doesn’t stop at providing a landlord’s gas safety record. It is good practice to include gas safety information in your tenant’s welcome pack.
First, include the operating manuals for all gas appliances in your property.
Tip: If you no longer have the manual, search online for the serial number. Many manufacturers make PDFs available for download, even for discontinued models.
Also include the following useful gas safety guidance for your tenants:
Day-to-day gas safety
- Don’t cover or obstruct vents on or around boilers or gas fires
- Don’t block, obstruct or seal air bricks or ventilation grilles in the wall or floor
- Don’t block or obstruct outside flues
- Don’t sleep in a room where there is an open-flue gas appliance
- If using a gas cooker for a long period, leave the window open to ventilate the room
- Regularly check all gas appliances in rooms where there is double-glazing or draught exclusion
- Turn off all gas appliances whenever you leave the property
Signs of boiler and gas appliance malfunction
- Discolouration, soot or stains around the flue or on the appliance itself
- Orange or yellow flames that should ordinarily be blue (this indicates that the appliance is not properly burning fuel, and carbon monoxide is being produced)
Signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
Contrary to common belief, carbon monoxide is odourless, tasteless and does not irritate the skin. This makes it hard to detect. The following symptoms may be indications of CO poisoning:
- Chest pain
- Flu-like symptoms (aches, chills and fever, congestion, cough and/or sore throat, fatigue)
- Stomach pains
What you should do if you are worried there is a gas leak
- Ensure all gas appliances and the mains gas isolation valve are switched off. [Include the location of your tenants’ mains gas isolation valve. It will usually be under the stairs or the kitchen sink or, in newer properties, outside in a meter box.]
- Open windows and doors to let air in
- Avoid using electrical switches and appliances
- Avoid smoking and creating naked flames, such as by lighting a match or lighter
- Don’t attempt to investigate or fix the problem yourself
Emergency Contact Details to include
- The Gas Emergency Service, in case your tenant suspects there may be a leak
- A local Gas Safe registered engineer, in case your tenants need to request an urgent repair and neither you nor your agent are available
- Your contact details
- Your agent’s contact details (if applicable)
Repairs to gas appliances are your responsibility by law, so your tenant must always have a way of contacting either you or your authorised representative.