This article read as a guide to help clarify who has responsibilities under the Building Regulations in England and Wales for ensuring that the installation of relevant gas appliances including; boilers, water heaters, warm air heaters, gas fires, flued cookers and heating systems are reported (generally referred to as ‘notified’) correctly to Local Authorities (LAs). It also defines the services that Gas Safe Register provides to help support this area.
Under the legislation, the ultimate responsibility for Building Regulation compliance rests with the property owner, but contractors need to support them with compliance and offer competent advice and services. It is the property owner that may be served with an enforcement notice by an LA if the Regulations are not met; therefore it is paramount that the responsibilities and what needs to be done is understood in advance.
Gas Safe Register
Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances. By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register.
Gas Safe Register inspects gas work to ensure that registered businesses continue to work in accordance with recognised standards and requirements. Registered businesses and engineers must adhere to Gas Safe Register’s published Rules of Registration and there is a Sanctions Policy that can be applied where breaches of the Rules are identified. As notification is a legal requirement of the Building Regulations and not a registration requirement, there is no mandated requirement within the Rules of Registration for registered businesses to notify the installation of gas appliances or heating systems to the Register, albeit facility to do so does exist.
Gas Safe Register is not provided with any regulatory enforcement powers. However, where possible we support enforcement agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or LA’s with any actions they undertake.
Gas Safe Register provides clear messaging to registrants regarding their legal obligation to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations. This includes correct installation and notification of the work. The following notification methods are available to registered businesses:
Notification through Gas Safe Register
Gas Safe Register offers registered businesses a notification facility to help compliance with the Regulations on their customer’s behalf. If a registered business chooses to use this facility to notify gas work, the information will be transferred on to the relevant LA and a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate will be issued to a property address provided by the business. There are Gas Safe Register approved ’partners’ that also provide similar notification facilities and depending on the eligibility of the registered businesses they can use these options.
Notification Directly to the LA
Whilst notifying through one of the above channels is probably the most time and cost effective method for registered businesses to use, notifications can be made directly to the relevant LA. Depending on the nature of the work this can be done by the submission of a Building Notice or the depositing of Full Plans to that Authority before work begins. Information of the availability, process and cost of the service will be available from the LA Building Control department concerned.
Document the agreement for whom and how notification will be made
In order to avoid any confusion, the arrangements for who will take responsibility for Building Regulation notification and by which method notification will be made to the LA, should be documented in the contract relating to the work to be done.
There is a pathway by which compliance with Building Regulations can be made after the event. This may be achieved by seeking a ‘Regularisation Certificate’ through the LA. Unfortunately this route will inevitably incur a cost to the property owner who may then be able to seek compensation for this cost from the business and further advice may be provided by a legal advisor or Citizens Advice Consumer Services.
NOTIFICATION OF GAS WORK
Date issued: 12/10/2012
How Gas Safe Register processes Building Regulation Non Compliances
It has been agreed with LABC, the member organisation representing LA Building Control offices in England and Wales, that where faults of a Building Regulation non-compliance nature are identified through Gas Safe Register’s inspection or complaint investigation process, a Building Regulations non-compliance defect notice will be raised against the registered business concerned and a timescale set for rectification of any non-compliant work to be carried out. The non-compliance defects notice will be chased with the registered business that undertook the work by Gas Safe Register for a maximum of two occasions. As Gas Safe Register is unable to enforce the Building Regulations, where confirmation of the required corrective action(s) has not been received following the two chases the information will be passed to the relevant LA via e-mail along with an outline of the actions taken by Gas Safe Register. It will then be for the LA concerned to determine whatever enforcement action under the Building Regulations is appropriate and to enforce it.
Gas Safe Register has no power remove the registration of a business simply due a failure to comply with any requirement of the Building Regulations, other than in relation to unsafe gas work. However this does not reduce the responsibility for registered engineers to comply with the Building Regulations nor diminish the potential for an LA to take enforcement action against them for failing in their legal duties. An LA may ask for Gas Safe Registers support in their enforcement action.
￼Frequently asked questions
Q1. Does my engineer have a legal obligation to provide me with a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate for the work they have carried out?
A1. If the work has been pre-notified directly to the LA under a Building Notice or Full Plans prior to commencement the answer is no. If the work is of a type that can be carried out without formal pre-notification and has been undertaken without pre-notification then the engineer/business contracted to carry out the work has a responsibility to provide you with a certificate and ensure that the LA is made aware of the work by way of a notification within 30 days of completing the work. However, the responsibility ultimately falls upon the property owner to ensure that the Building Regulations are complied with.
Q2. As Gas Safe Register provides a notification facility to registered businesses as a supporting service why don’t you make it part of your Rules of Registration that they have to use it?
A2. Gas Safe register works under an agreement with the Health and Safety Executive related specifically to the requirements of Regulation 3 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. This agreement does not relate to enforcing the Building Regulations therefore there is no justification for including this within the Rules of Registration.
Q3. I have no Building Regulations Compliance Certificate and have contacted my LA who has told me to contact you? How can I obtain a certificate for the work that was done?
A3. If a registered business does not notify your work and it is of a type that the LA needs to know about under the Building Regulations requirement in the first instance you should contact your engineer and instruct them to notify it immediately. If they do not you must seek advice from your LA Building Control Department as enforcement of the Building Regulations is their responsibility.
Q4. I understand that Gas Safe Register cannot force a registered business to notify my work and I have contacted my installer several times and they refuse or are unable to notify it. My LA say they cannot help me and they have sent me back to you. What can I do to get my certificate?
A4. As the property owner you have the ultimate responsibility to comply with the Building Regulations and the LA will be able to explain what actions you need to undertake to ensure compliance. It is possible that they suggest you.
Visit: www.gassaferegister.co.uk for for information.