New landlord gas safety regulations expected in April

Subject to Parliament approval, The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will come into force on 6th April 2018 and are aimed at making gas safety records easier to obtain.

Currently, it is a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the gas appliances and fittings in their properties are safe and regularly checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate confirming that everything has been tested and is safe to use must be given to the tenant. A new certificate must be issued annually, and the check must be arranged by the landlord.

There were concerns about the timing and validity of a Gas Safety Certificate, as it can be challenging for a landlord to co-ordinate the availability of an engineer with the approval of access by the tenant. Also, to avoid any days where the existing and new certificate overlap, landlords often try to keep the appointment as close to the renewal date as possible.

The new, proposed landlord gas safety regulations do not relax requirements or reduce standards, but it will mean that landlords no longer have to wait until the last minute to complete their gas safety certificate, or have to shorten the annual check to comply with the law.

An MOT-style certificate will allow landlords to arrange the annual check up to two months before the due date but keep the same annual check date. For example, if the gas safety check is due on 28th February, but is carried out on 16th February, the new certificate will retain the 28th February expiry date and there will be no foreshortening of the inspection period.

This will make it much easier for landlords to keep track of the renewal date as it remains the same. It will also be particularly helpful to landlords with larger portfolios.