25th March 2020
The Government’s announcement on 23rd March 2020 that it was restricting all non-essential travel created a degree of uncertainty for landlords, particularly with regard to the provision of essential maintenance and safety measures such as gas safety inspections. The Gas Safe Register have now issued guidance to their members based on advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). According to the HSE:
“Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check.
If you anticipate difficulties in gaining access as the COVID-19 situation progresses, you have the flexibility to carry out annual gas safety checks two months before the deadline date. Landlords can have the annual gas safety checks at their properties carried out any time from 10 to 12 calendar months after the previous check and still retain the original deadline date as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check.
You are encouraged to arrange your annual gas safety checks as early as possible, as a contingency against tenants being in self-isolation for a period of 14 days (in line with current guidelines), or gas engineers being unavailable due to illness. The two-month period to carry out annual gas safety checks should provide adequate resilience in most situations.
In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, e.g. persistent refusal of access due to vulnerable tenants self-isolating, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law, and that you are seeking to arrange the safety check as soon as all parties are able. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant, and details of your engineers attempts to gain access."
Based on this information, the team at Aspire will continue to arrange gas safety inspections in line with our essential works policy, however the scheduling of gas safety inspections will take into account the increased flexibility in timing reflected in the above statement. A copy of our essential works policy can be found here;
This is an evolving situation and we will continue to update our website and advise landlords as we receive further news and guidance.
Aspire Residential – Lettings and Management