Landlords to be given more flexibility on gas safety checks

Gas

Landlords who fail to comply with gas safety standards in rental properties are often left open to heavy fines and even imprisonment in the most serious cases, and as the largest letting agent in Cardiff, we’re often asked by landlords what happens if they can’t gain access to their property to make necessary gas maintenance updates and subsequently fall foul of the law?

Well, new regulations will make it easier for landlords to stay on the right side of the law, as from April 2018, landlord gas checks will be allowed up to two months ahead of their renewal date while retaining the existing renewal data, much like a car MOT.

This means that landlords and estate agents will be able to start the renewal process early and have a valid test certificate in place before the old one expires. The proposals were set up to help landlords and prevent them falling foul of the law when they experience any difficulties arranging access to their rental property for gas appliance maintenance.

Transgressions are not likely to be tolerated

Landlords will undoubtedly welcome the new regulations as they somewhat relax the timing of the rules, but as a result, enforcement agencies such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are less likely to tolerate transgressions, with more severe punishments handed out to landlords who fail to comply.

The new Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 are coming into force on 6 April 2018, and will replace the current regulations introduced in 1998. The HSE has stipulated that the regulations are not intended to reduce or relax the current safety standards, but are aimed at giving landlords more flexibility over when regular gas safety checks on appliances are carried out.

Regulations designed to protect landlords who can’t access their properties

Most landlords come across a stubborn or difficult tenant during their buy-to-let years, and the new regulations are aimed at helping out those landlords who are unable, or find it difficult to arrange inspections of the gas systems and appliance within their properties due to tenants who refuse access. Current law means landlords cannot force access to their properties without their tenant’s consent, so could end up breaking the law through no fault of their own.

Landlords who also find it difficult to take time off work will also benefit from the new regulations, as will landlords who have arranged for a contractor to come out and inspect gas appliances, only for the contractor to be denied access to the property, costing all parties additional fees.

Here at CPS Homes, we’re Cardiff’s largest letting and estate agent, so we can help with all of your buy-to-let queries, whether you’re a new or experienced landlord. To find out more about our buy-to-let services, please get in touch today on 02920 668585, email enquiries@cpshomes.co.uk, or pop into our Woodville Road office in the heart of Cathays.

28 March 2018

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