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No Gas Safety Certificate or Landlord Registration


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Hi y'all,

 

I'll start by stating that we live in Scotland.

 

Anyway, to business: We took up a one year lease that started on 1st January 2008. The lease itself basically states that we'll pay rent etc for the year on a monthly basis on the first of each (month) and pay a deposit. The contract was basically of the 'written on the back of a ciggy pack' variety. The rent was agreed on paper (as stated), but the amount was agreed verbally on the basis that an extension to the property be carried out at some point prior to summer-time this year - this has not been done and feel that we've been conned into this (i.e. we have been).

 

We've a number of repairs that need rectification; however, with the exception of a broken bathroom lock, none of them are particularly bothersome or impinge upon our quality of life here. We've requested that these repairs be carried out and keep getting fobbed off. Again, no big deal, as it doesn't really affect us that much.

 

We have been told, via text message, that our lease will not be renewed at the end of the year. I've started doing a bit of digging regards new housing/accommodation and have discovered the following with regards our current lease:

 

  • Our landlord is not and has not (ever) been registered with our local authority, whom we have contacted regarding this.
  • We do not have (and have never seen) a Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate - this despite enquiring as to the existence of one back in March when we had a faulty flue. This, the lack of the Certificate, is actually documented by Transco. We were assured by the Landlord that the letting agent had one.:confused:
  • We do not have any fire/smoke alarms, although helpfully, we do have the empty casing of one affixed to the upper floor hallway ceiling

Recently, the local authority have written to the landlord to enforce the piece of legislation regarding their non-registration, a fact I was made aware of when the landlord phoned me to crow about 'them already being registered' with the local authority. Of course, this can be checked by anyone online, or by contacting the local authority, both of which I have done and both confirmed that they are not registered (and indeed no-one is registered as a landlord for our accommodation).

 

The landlords 14 day grace period elapsed on Thursday and the local council sent out another letter yesterday. In betwixt this period, I have paid another months rent.

 

Has the landlord broken the law by taking my rent? Is my lease at all legal, given that the landlord should not be acting as a landlord unregistered (for over 8 months). When we, and we will, report the lack of Gas Safety Certificate, will this affect my landlords application for registration (even though they've still not actually bothered)?

 

Basically, we want to get out of here as soon as possible, and do not want to pay up the rest of our lease, especially when I realise that the lack of safety certificate could have had rather dire consequences given the problem with our boiler's flue (CO escaping).

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How many people live in the property?

 

If there is no gas safety certificate in place, it is fairly easily argued that the property is not fit for habitation, and as such no rent is due. That said, you are not entitled to neccessarily cancel the tenancy on that basis. However, if you do believe that there is any real threat to your health(as opposed to the "paper" threat of not having a certificate), I would advise that you inform EH and the landlord, in writing, that this is the case and that you have no alternative but to leave the property - and DO SO. Ultimately, your health is more important, even if you do have to end up paying two lots of rent...

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Cheers MrShed.

 

The council are sending out a Rent Penalty Notice to the landlord as they have not yet registered, despite having two letters sent to them. We have a meeting with people from the local housing office tomorrow where we'll get the chance to grill them, as it were, about the gas safety certificate - I'm thinking this is going to count against them when they do get around to applying for landlord registration.

 

Will post an update tomorrow evening.

 

Again, cheers.

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is an old thread but if you search for 'no gas safety certificate' on google this is top ranked so I assume that there is alot of people seeing this thread.

 

In the UK it is law that the property must come with a gas safety certificate, EPC and smoke alarms. This is the standard minimum and not all Landlords recongnise this. I would urge tenants to contact the landlord and get their copy of the certificate (3 copies, on for engineer, one for landlord, one for tenant)

 

If the landlord is refusing to show you a copy for whatever reason then I would contact a registered gas installer from the Gas Safe website and book someone in yourself. This can then be deducted from the rent.

 

As a responsible landlord myself I find it difficult to understand why a landlord would not adhere to his legal obligaqtions.

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Just to clarify, it is not the landlords responsibility to install smoke alarms. Unless the property was built after June 1992, in which case it is part of the building regulations that the smoke alarms should be 'hard-wired' i.e. connected to the mains as well as having a battery.

 

Yes, the landlord should have a Gas Safety Certificate, which is renewed at LEAST annually, and there are very stiff penalties for not doing so. However, from my own dealings with the Health and Safety Executive, and Environmental Health, they do give lots of warnings and lots of time for the landlord to rectify the missing certificate before pushing ahead with action. For me, this was longer than it took before I felt unsafe in the property and left.

 

An EPC is also a legal requirement, but they are valid for 10 years, and I have yet to meet and landlord or tenant that has taken much notice of what they say. Nevertheless, they are required and if the landlord has neglected to do something so simple (and cheap), it would set me wondering what other corners they may have cut.

Edited by xoAmyox
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  • 5 months later...

I defer to AE Downie that functional battery-oprated smoke alarms are obligatory in Scotland non HMOs. In E&W HMOs are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms. If alarms are fitted in non-HMOs (E+W) then battery replacement is resp of T. In many cases Fire Brigade fitted free smoke alarms with 10 yr non-replaceable batteries. Many proved not to provide 1o yr battery life. It is a moot point whether T is resp for replacement (T replacement cost approx

 

As for OP, I do not believe the lack of a valid GSC means the property is 'unfit for human habitation'. Only the local auth or Court can decide and issue a rental prohibition notice on LL, but other LL penalties may be severe.

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