We all know that gas safety is crucial and consequently there are few single events more important to most property managers than the annual gas safety check.
After all, failing to conduct the check in time could result in a substantial fine and/or 6 months in prison.
Should the worst happen charges of manslaughter could even be brought against a landlord or responsible managing agent.
The danger to life and property which can be posed by unsafe gas appliances means there really is no excuse for failing to have a safety check carried out every year (assuming there are gas appliances installed of course). But, on occasion, it can be difficult to arrange for an engineer to attend on a day which is both adequately close to the anniversary of the last check and suitable for the tenants residing in the property.
This can prove costly, especially if you are managing a large portfolio with various renewal dates necessitating lots of visits by engineers on different days and their associated bills.
The choice in many cases is whether to try and save costs by arranging for your engineer to visit multiple properties in a single day, forfeiting days or weeks relative to anniversary dates.
Trying to preserve the anniversary of the safety checks by arranging for an engineer to visit each property on the latest practical day before expiry.
The latter can be costly, and in some cases risky if unable to gain access for any reason. While the former can lead to gas appliances being checked every 11 months – or 13 checks in 12 years to put it into context.
This is why UKALA and the NLA have been working with the Health and Safety Executive to find a way to allow safety checks to be carried out within a pre-defined window before the expiry date, without sacrificing the anniversary of the inspection. In the same way that a car’s MOT may be carried out up to 30 days before its renewal date without cutting short the duration of the certificate.
In order to justify making such a change the HSE needs evidence to demonstrate the potential savings and to understand the way in which agents and their clients undertake the checks. As such UKALA is hosting a short online survey accessible here:
Without sufficient evidence this welcome change may well not come to fruition so agents (and their clients) are encouraged to take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire.