Eight out of ten people aged 50 and over have the mandatory Gas Safety Certificate for their rental properties, according to new research from Saga Landlord Insurance.*
Buy-to-let has become an increasingly popular investment recently, particularly among the over 50s, and with recent pension freedoms more of the Saga generations may be thinking about dipping their toe into the market. However being a landlord isn’t always straight-forward and many beginning to let properties may be unaware of some of the laws and regulations around doing so.
For instance, a Gas Safety Certificate, sometimes referred to as a Gas Safety Report, is a legal requirement for landlords. This involves a Gas Safe registered engineer assessing the safety of appliances in a rental property and checking that the system is working properly. Costs for this certificate vary depending on the number of gas appliances that need checking in the property, but normally costs between £60 and £100. Saga Landlord Insurance customers are able to pay an additional fee for their appliances to be checked by a gas safe registered engineer as part of their insurance policy.
Landlords with multiple properties need a separate certificate for each one, even with short-let services such as Airbnb, and each certificate needs to be reviewed on an annual basis. If a landlord fails an assessment they will receive a full report from the engineer and will have to employ someone to carry out work to the property to make sure all the gas appliances are safe before letting the property out.
The new tenant must be given a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate prior to moving in and within 28 days of the annual check, stating that all installations and appliances are safe to use. Landlords are advised to keep copies of the gas safety record for at least two years. When tenants vacate the property, landlords need to ensure that gas fittings and appliances are safe before re-letting.
As the certificate is required by law, landlords who don’t have one could face prosecution and be liable to pay a standard penalty of £6,000 and/or serve six months imprisonment. Not having a certificate could render properties or landlord insurance policies void and could lead to claims for civil damages.
Sue Green, Head of Home and Landlord Insurance at Saga, says:
“Being a landlord comes with an array of administrative jobs which need to be completed, and in some cases, failing to do so could cost you dearly. The key is to thoroughly research exactly what the requirements are, and ensure you keep up-to-date with any developments that might change the situation.”
“The safety of tenants must always come first, and part of this is ensuring that the boiler is running properly. Gas safety checks can pick up a range of problems including faulty boilers as well as helping to prevent gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
*Research of 786 UK landlords aged 50 and over, conducted by Populus on behalf of Saga – June 2015
About Saga Landlord Insurance
Whether you are an experienced landlord or just starting out, the Defaqto five star Saga Landlord Insurance will give you total piece of mind that you are doing things in the right way. As well as accidental damage and legal expenses cover, it offers cover for malicious damage by tenants and optional rent guarantee cover.
Additionally, Saga Landlord Insurance customers are able to pay for an annual gas and electrical equipment safety inspections.
For more information, visit www.saga.co.uk/insurance/landlord-insurance or call 0800 001 5663.