Way back in 2016 we asked readers of this blog, and UKALA members, to take part in a short survey about their experiences of getting access to property to carry out gas safety checks. The reason was simple, we were trying to pull together enough evidence to change the law to provide A degree of flexibility for the timing of landlords’ mandatory annual gas safety checks.
Well…… partly as a result of the information provided via this blog a consultation on the issue last year the Health & Safety Executive has now confirmed amendments to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR).
Great. What happens now?
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will come into force on 6 April 2018. This MOT-style change will allow landlords and their appointed agents 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 15th May, but it is carried out on the preceding 29th of April, the new certificate will retain the 15th May expiry date and there will be no foreshortening of the inspection period.
This avoids having to wait until the last minute and risking 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.
The current legislation will continue to apply up to and including 5 April 2018, along with the Approved Code of Practice and guidance supporting it. The changes will not relax regulatory requirements or reduce safety standards.
Landlords and agents 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 which will apply from 6th April 2018, if approved by Parliament.