06/04/18 New Gas Safety Regulations
The new regulations gives a degree of flexibility to landlords which can have trouble gaining access to undertake annual gas safety checks. This flexibility will benefit both the landlords and tenants alike.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force on 6th April 2018 (GSIUR).
The amended GSIUR and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a new Approved Code of Practice and guidance (L56).
The guidance is for anyone whom may have a duty under the GSIUR, including those who install, maintain, service, or repair gas appliances and other gas fittings.
It is also worth highlighting that landlords have a duty under these regulations and the HSE have actively pursued landlords to prosecution when they have failed to comply.
The following changes are mention to the legislation, which do not relax regulatory requirements or reduce safety standards.
Annual Safety Check
The regulations introduce a degree of flexibility to the timing of landlords’ annual gas safety checks which will be welcomed by those in the property sector.This MOT-style change means that landlords can carry out the annual gas safety check in the two months before the due date and retain the existing expiry 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.
Gas Check Methodology
The amendments will incorporate an existing exemption into law to carry out alternative checks in situations where there is no meter to directly measure the heat input and it is not possible to measure the operating pressure, and extend the scope slightly to include situations where the meter is not accessible or the meter display is not working.
Under the existing regulations landlords have the following duties;
- Ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained and in a safe condition
- Ensure annual safety checks conducted on each gas appliance/flue.
- have all installation, maintenance and safety checks are conducted by a Gas Safe registered engineer
- Keep records on each safety check for at least two years.
- ensure a copy of the latest safety check record is issued to existing tenants within 28 days, or before any new tenant moves in.
The record of inspection must include the following information
- The date on which the appliance or flue was checked.
- The address of the premises at which the appliance or flue is installed.
- the name and address of the landlord of the premises (or, where appropriate, his agent) at which the appliance or flue is installed.
- A description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked
- Any defect identified
- Any remedial action taken
- Confirmation that the check undertaken complies with the inspection requirements of the regulations.
- The name and signature of the individual carrying out the check
- The registration number with which that individual, or his employer, is registered with Gas Safe.
Before any new lease starts, the landlord must ensure that these checks have been carried out within one year before the start of the lease date, unless the appliances in the property have been installed for less than 12 months, in which case they should be checked within 12 months of their installation.
Landlords must ensure that the licence, lease or tenancy agreement provides access rights to the property so that gas safety checks and maintenance can be carried out. This is normally achieved by the inclusion of an access clause in the tenancy agreement which allows the landlord access upon reasonable notice to the tenant.
The regulations require landlords to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure gas safety checks and maintenance are carried out, and this may involve giving written notice to a tenant requesting access, and explaining the reason
If landlords are refused access by a tenant then they should keep records of all correspondence and contact with the tenant in order to demonstrate the steps they have taken to comply with the legislation.
The HSE do not get involved in access disputes between landlords and tenants. There is no requirement to report tenants to the HSE.
Further Information & Usefull Links
Writen by Steve Redfern our Health & Safety Manager. Steve holds NCRQ Level 6 in health & saftey, NEBOSH diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Practice and is a long standing member of IOSH, IIRSM & IIAI.
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