The Health and Safety Executive is proposing moving towards an ‘MOT-style’ system for gas safety checks that it says will save landlords time and money.
The body has unveiled a consultation on changing regulations that currently stipulate landlords carry out gas safety checks “at intervals of no more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety”.
Instead, the HSE is proposing adding a clause that checks should be carried out between 10–12 months of the previous check but to be treated as if they were carried out on the expiry date.
Explaining the proposed changes, the HSE consultation says: “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 nine-year period, instead of the statutory nine.”
The document recognises there may be situations where there is a longer gap for a check, such as if a boiler was last checked on December 1, 2016, and a landlord makes a check 10 months later in October 2017 but waits 12 months for the next one in December 2018, creating a 14-month gap.
The HSE estimates this would save landlords in the region of £22m a year as a result of carrying out fewer gas safety checks over the appraisal period, as well as logistical savings.
The consultation also aims to clarify that only gas safety defects should be recorded.
The consultation ends on January 27 and you can respond via an online questionnaire