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Basic Gas Safety Check

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by DrippingTap, 18 Feb 2013.

  1. DrippingTap

    DrippingTap

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    Hi all

    First things first - this is NOT a request for how to do a full gas safety check or how to do anything that would be covered under the requirement for a 'competant person'...

    Does anyone have a list of basic safety requirements for a boiler installation?

    Every year British Gas check my system and every year it fails the safety check as the flue is too close to a window which could in theory be opened (if you stripped about 4 decades of paint, installed new hinges and could be bothered opening a 1/2ft square window when there's a perfectly good full size one on the other wall...

    So every year I sign that I am fine with this and that i'm not too bothered about paying £9000 (yup that was the last British Gas quote) for a new boiler and relocation and we all walk away happy.

    I am however now considering buying another property to let out and am aware that as a landlord common sense solutions such as this are not allowed.

    Does anyone have a list of basic visual/measurement checks such as this that I can use to assess if the installation is fit for purpose on even a basic level? I am obviously aware that I need a full safety certificate to let and plan on getting one but it would be helpful to know of as many potentially expensive remediations such as a boiler relocation prior to purchase as possible, and I don't have the time or money to get a Gas engineer to look at every auction property I am considering.

    Of course if anyone has a list of other obvious gas/central heating things to spot for that would also be welcomed.
     
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  3. skodaman007

    skodaman007

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    Buying a property from an auction has its risks and rewards :D :D :D .
    It all depends on your attitude to risk and how much cash you have to splash,i have bought 3 properties from auctions in last 12 years and if any of the electrics,gas,heating,plumbing,doors,ceilings,walls,windows,roof did not need work/replacement i was lucky.
    For renting out everything has to safe and efficient as certificates will be required.
    It can be a minefield but well worth the effort,personally my idea was to buy,do it up and sell,take the profit then do it all again and again.

    good luck.
     
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  4. kbdiy

    kbdiy

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    For current regulations the Planning Portal - Approved Document J - will give all the dimensions/clearances required for gas appliances. Other Approved Docs give info regarding fire regs etc.

    Always remembering that Building Regs cannot be applied retrospectively. But of course as you rightly point out, landlord obligations may override in some situations.

    I suffer the same yearly report as you do. Although I am confident that my fanned flue does meet current regs I dont see the need to dispute over a few mm here and there, so I accept what is written.
     
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  5. Agile

    Agile

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    The only easy aspects you can check is that the boiler is not fitted on the floor and the flue is at least 300 mm from any window reveal !

    13A mains sockets WITH an earth wire inside!

    Tony
     
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  6. DrippingTap

    DrippingTap

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    Cheers Skodaman,

    Yeah I'm certainly not expecting a hassle-free investment - I'm just after as many pointers to try to reduce the number of unexpected costs (and yes I know there will still probably be plenty!) as possible.

    After years of buying crap properties and doing them up for myself I am relatively confident of spotting the majority of the building fabric, electric & plumbing niggles, but it dawned on me the other day after British Gas did their yearly inspection/failure of what is an otherwise healthy system that theres a potential minefield of non-obvious gas regulations that I don't have a scoobies about.

    Sods law clearly states that if the boiler was to need moving or something else along those lines, that there would be nowhere to position it without blocking windows, knocking through walls or basically rebuilding the property and turning it 180 degrees....

    In all seriousness with the kind of bottom of the heap properties I'm going to get started with this sort of thing represents a significant percentage of the initial outlay so I'm looking to be as forearmed as I sensibly can be.

    Even as I write this I have the image of that woman who bought a £500K house only to see it slip down the cliffside the following week - so if you hear on the news about a guy buying a cheap rental that turned out to be made of cardboard, gaffa tape and glue you'll know who it is!
     
  7. skodaman007

    skodaman007

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    ps, if your interested in a freehold property in london (camden town) which has been totally refurbished in 2007.

    3 x 2 bedroom flats.
    1 x office. currently a solicitor practice.
    1 x lock up garage (storage).
    2 x off street parking spaces.

    monthly rent £5250 flats.
    monthly cash rent office & storage & parking £900.

    available late august. approx £1.150.000
     
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  9. DrippingTap

    DrippingTap

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    Thanks kbdiy and agile Tony - yet more valuable pointers, I'm sure my own flue is further than 300mm away from the window; I'm going to measure when I get home now! Not that I really care either way but it's the principle of the thing.

    Thanks for the offer as well Skodaman but I'm in the North East and anyway that's way out of my price range by an order of magnitude or two!

    Anyone else with any ideas please feel free to keep them coming - really appreciating the help here.
     
  10. Agile

    Agile

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    Since landlords need an EPC when letting properties, you would be well advised to only buy flats with a condensing boiler!

    Or to budget for £2k to replace the boiler.

    But these things are the least important aspects of buying a property.

    First to see the location, tenants like to be by a tube, if not then a USEFUL bus route or a BR station.

    Looking like a council flat and surrounded by immigrants is not ideal either unless you are going to let to similar people.

    Tony
     
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  11. DrippingTap

    DrippingTap

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    Agile Tony - Fair point re the combi but in my case a very large part of the costs was going to be the actual relocation which is what I am scared of as the properties I am looking at buying are a similar design to mine albeit not in as nice an area or in as good a nick.

    There were a few options presented to me but due to the layout of other windows and roofing cross members upstairs none were cheap and I'd like to avoid this if possible - plus I'd like to keep building work to a minumum to get it on the market again quickly.

    I take your point re location - no point having a property to rent if no one wants to.
     
  12. Agile

    Agile

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    Moving a boiler is pretty pointless unless its a good brand condensing boiler already!

    Letting property is largely a waste of time unless you are prepared to spend money making somewhere attractive to good tenants.

    Those who do it on a shoestring and endure the worst social tenants are on a hiding to nothing!

    Tony
     
  13. bolshy

    bolshy

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    A lot of the time you can be on a hiding to nothing anyway, working or professional tenants trash houses too - I have direct experience of this. You never know who you are going to get, regardless of references or previous landlord's recommendations. A lot of people just don't bother looking after things that don't belong to them.
     
  14. easyflow

    easyflow

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    Plus 1

    I work in alot of rented properties and havnt seen one thats been looked after, cant wait to get out.
     
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