New rules came into force on the 6th April 2018 which have changed the way Gas Safety checks are administered. If you’re a landlord, tenant or otherwise have an interest in Gas Safety Certificates, here’s what you need to know about these changes.
Present the property early for a check and preserve the expiry date
The new regulations have repeatedly been likened to being similar to an MOT for a car. This is because, instead of having a safety record that runs from one date to another, now landlords can undertake that years check up to two months in advance. Just as presenting your car early for an MOT test can preserve the date of expiry, so this new way of doing Gas Safety checks can make everything a little more flexible for the landlord.
As an example, if you conducted last year’s check on, say, the first of December 2017, this year you can present your home for it’s check as early as the first of October 2018, and yet the date of expiry will still be the first of December next year (2019). This added flexibility is a welcome change for many landlords who have struggled to complete their checks before in the small window offered by the old system.
Checks conducted less than 10 months after the last one will ‘reset’ the clock
If you decide to undertake your Gas Safety Check less than 10 months since the date of the last check, this will effectively ‘reset the clock’. The new expiry date would then be 12 months from the date of the latest check, not from the date of the check the year before.
Using our example above, if you presented the property for a check before the first of October, perhaps on the 20th of September instead, the new expiry date would be the 20th September 2019. This means it’s important that landlords make the most of that two-month window to get their check done, so that they can maximise the benefit of this new system.
New appliances can be left overdue
If a new appliance is installed or changed in the property, landlords now have the flexibility to let the safety check due date pass by up to two months, in order to bring the check date in line with other appliances in the house.
For example, if the gas hob is due to be checked on the 10th February 2019, but a new boiler is installed in January, the engineer can just check the hob when they attend in February. The boiler should be checked in January when it reaches its first anniversary in the property but can be left to go overdue in order for the engineer to just attend once and conduct a check on both appliances in February.
This is another welcome change which could save landlords the expense of having an engineer attend twice in one calendar year, or of having to check an appliance earlier than required to bring it into line with other appliances in the home.
Keep the last two records
A minor change in the rules now means landlords must keep the last two gas safety checks for the property. Previously they have only been asked to keep the last two years, which could mean only one record is kept. For best practice, we would always recommend keeping several years’ worth of gas safety records, but two is now a standard minimum.
These changes to the Gas Safety rules does not change anything about the landlord’s obligation to provide an annual check. The additional flexibility offered by these new rules makes it easier than ever for landlords to stay compliant, so there really is no excuse.