The Health and Safety Executive has published a consultation on minor changes to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The changes proposed are beneficial to landlords (for a change)!

The part of the consultation of interest to landlords is the proposal to allow more flexibility when a gas safety check may be carried out.

As the consultation points out, the current position is unfair for landlords who get gas safety records early in order to have completed the check within the strict 12 month time-scale:

At present, under Regulation 36(3)(a) of GSIUR landlords are required to carry out gas safety checks on their properties “at intervals of no more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety”.

In order to ensure that checks are carried out at intervals of not more than 12 months many landlords start the process for gaining access to properties at around 10.5 months after the last check, according to a survey carried out by CORGI Technical Services. However, since in about 75% of cases landlords do gain access promptly, this leads to a shortening of the safety check cycle year-on-year. If landlords carry out a gas safety check every 10.5 months this results in 10 annual gas safety checks being completed over a 9 year period, instead of the statutory 9.

The proposal to fix this is:

We are proposing to amend GSIUR by adding a new clause to regulation 36(3). The new clause will allow landlords’ gas safety checks to be carried out in a window of between 10 and 12 months after the previous check, but to be treated as if they were carried out on the last day of that 12 months validity, thereby preserving the existing expiry date of the safety check record.

There is a further proposal to clarify that only “gas safety defects need recording at the time of the check.

The consultation estimates savings for both social and private landlords in the region of £382 million over a 25 year period (£22 million per year) of which, private landlords are estimated to save £65 million over that same period.

The consultation estimates a small one off cost for familiarisation which is easily offset by the savings.

The consultation is available to view here and replies must be made by 27 January 2017.