NLA welcomes flexibility over gas safety checks
The National Landlords' Association (NLA) has welcomed news that the rules governing the mandatory annual gas safety checks in rented properties are to be made more flexible.
Until now, the timing of the checks was so rigid it ran the risks for landlords of having to wait until the last minute and then finding they could not get access to a property on the due date, or having to shorten the annual cycle order to meet their legal requirements by checking early.
However, under the new Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, a different regime will be in force from April 6th 2018, subject to parliamentary approval.
In this case, the MOT-style checks will enable landlords to get the checks carried out up to two months before the due date without this affecting its expiry date.
However, landlords whose checks are due on or before April 5th will still have to comply with the existing regulations in their present form. The check has to be carried out on any new appliance or flue and within 12 months thereafter on an annual basis.
The new regulations have been introduced by the Health and Safety Executive following a consultation on the topic last year, which the NLA took part in.
Having campaigned on this issue for a long time, the NLA has said it will prevent landlords being punished for being conscientious and considerate.
In an article published last year explaining how the existing system can work against good landlords, the NLA stated: "Arranging times which are convenient for your tenants and when your preferred engineer is available can mean that you end inspecting gas installations up to a full month before you legally have to.
"Assuming you do this every year, this year’s December renewal date becomes November next year, then October, September …. and so on until before you know it you’ve sacrificed an entire year just by being conscientious."