New ‘MOT-style’ approach to annual gas checks

Finally, a piece of legislation that actually benefits landlords is coming into force!

As it stands, a gas safety certificate is valid for 12 months from the date it is issued. That means that if you struggle to book an engineer for the day the current certificate expires and have to take an earlier appointment, you have essentially ‘lost’ time that you’ve already paid for. And, because good engineers tend to be booked up well in advance, you may end up having to have the check several weeks before the renewal date.

But, as of 6th April 2018, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 come into force. The new ‘MOT-style’ approach means landlords can have the annual check any time in the 2 months before the expiry of the current certificate and still retain the original expiry date.

For example, if your gas safety certificate expires on 23rd July 2018, you could have the annual check on 27th May 2018 and the renewal date would still be 23rd July 2019.        

This change in the law benefits landlords in three ways:

  1. You don’t have to worry about trying to find an engineer who can carry out the inspection as close to the expiry date as possible because you have a two-month window
  2. You don’t lose any of the value of the cost of the annual check
  3. It makes your administration easier, as the expiry date will be the same each year.

Just be careful not to get your timings wrong, because if the inspection is carried out less than 10 months on from the last check, it will ‘reset the clock’ and the new 12-month period will begin from that date.

The other thing you need to know is that you must now keep hold of the record of the last two gas safety checks. Even though it is the gas engineer’s duty to date the certificate, it remains your legal duty, as the landlord, to be able to demonstrate that the checks were made within the required timescales.

One final thing to bear in mind: given that there’s going to be absolutely no excuse for not having a valid certificate, if you are found to be in breach of the law, your local authority is likely to come down very hard on you, so make sure your paperwork is always up to date or use a self-regulated ARLA or UKALA agent to manage your property so it’s let legally and safely.

This information has been provided by our partner Mortgage Advice Bureau. For more information relating to Mortgages or for Mortgage Advice please visit Mortgage Advice Bureau.

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