MOT Style Flexibility for Landlords Gas Safety Checks
Flexibility has been introduced for the timing of landlords’ annual gas safety checks from the 6th April 2018.
Many have long called for this change, and following a consultation on the issue last year the Health & Safety Executive has now confirmed the amendments to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR).
The new regulations came into force on 6 April 2018. This MOT-style change will allow landlords to carry out their annual gas safety check in the two months before the due date and retain the existing expiry date.
For example, if your gas safety check is due 19th December, but it is carried out on the 14th November, the new certificate will retain the 19th December expiry date and the landlord will not lose the time off the existing renewal date.
This avoids landlords waiting until the last minute and not gaining access, or having to shorten the annual cycle check to comply with the law. There is no change to the legal requirement for an annual gas safety check or for maintenance to be carried out.
Landlords must ensure that an annual gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance or flue which they provide and annually thereafter by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. A record must be kept of the safety check for 2 years and a copy of the certificate given to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and a copy issued to any new tenants before they move in.
The Health & Safety Executive has published a draft copy of the updated Approved Code of Practice and guidance.
In our professional opinion, this can only be a good thing. There are lots of situations where we find the renewal of a gas safety certificate is left until the last minute which adds extra stress and worry onto landlords and tenants alike. We would advise landlords to set a reminder for the date 2 months prior to expiry and start planning the gas safety renewal immediately. It can sometimes take several attempts to book a mutually convenient time and date, this should in almost every case ensure the gas safety certificate is carried out prior to the expiry, meaning landlords meet their legal responsibilities and Tenants safety is ensured.