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Gas safety for landlords: CORGI scheme replaced

by Access Legal

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The Gas Safe Register (the Register) replaced the CORGI gas registration system from 1 April 2009.

It follows an extensive consultation on the future of domestic gas safety, and a number of high profile gas safety incidents and prosecutions of landlords and unregistered gas fitters.  In a recent survey, more than half those questioned said they assumed their gas engineer was properly trained and registered, without ever checking.

Last year alone, 14 people were killed in Britain due to carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from poorly installed and maintained gas appliances.

The new system is not significantly different from the old one. But now it will be easy to search online to confirm an engineer's credentials, at www.gassaferegister.co.uk. However, it is hoped that the launch of the Register will give fresh impetus to gas safety in the UK. The Register will implement procedures to check the competence of gas engineers, inspect their work, and to deal with complaints about unsafe gas work.

Clearly, a transparent system benefits home owners and tenants, as they can now investigate their workmen.

And the ability to investigate the credentials of your gas fitter also makes it likely that landlords will have to be far more diligent when choosing gas engineers in order to properly discharge their health and safety obligations to tenants and the public.

Health and safety fines are on the increase, and a number of landlords have received penalties fines and costs orders running into tens of thousands of pounds in recent years for offences under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

With low levels of cost associated with registration under the new scheme, the main reason for an engineer failing to register is likely to be because they are not capable of doing the work to a satisfactory level.

Therefore, we would advise landlords to check regularly the credentials of all gas engineers they use, and avoid any who are not registered.

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