If available data is to be believed, landlords and small businesses don’t know or care much about gas safety check in the UK, despite all the rules being in place. Gas safety is a matter of serious concern, and there are over 5 million privately rented properties in the UK. One of five small business energy users don’t comply with the norms, often not knowing that this can invalidate insurance. Are gas safety rules in the UK too lax?
Identifying the problems
It must be noted that gas safety regulations differ from one place to another. Under the “Landlord Licence Scheme”, landlords must prove that the legal requirements have been met for annual safety, before renting the property. Sadly, only 40 local authorities are using the Scheme, which has created what is known as ‘postcode lottery’. As such, while most landlords know what it takes to keep the tenants and properties safe, they ignore annual checks altogether. Not to forget, rogue traders are also a major problem. Small businesses using mains gas don’t often know the requirements. The lack of awareness among energy users is also a matter of concern.
What gas safety regulations means for landlords?
Business gas supplier Flogas offers a checklist of gas safety regulations for the landlords below.
- Focus on maintenance of gas appliances and systems. Always hire a Gas Safe registered engineerto get the work done. Take the manufacturer’s instructions seriously as how frequently an appliance must be serviced. Gas Safe Register recommends yearly servicing.
- Don’t ignore annual gas safety check. Every landlord should arrange for a full gas safety check every year, which must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Appliances belonging to tenants don’t fall in that ambit.
- Record gas safety checks. Record all checks on a Landlord Gas Safety form and keep a copy for yourself and provide one for your tenants within 28 days of shifting. This is of utmost importance and shouldn’t be ignored.
Understanding norms in 2018
In April 2018, new norms have been introduced, which allow landlords to schedule their gas safety checks two months in advance, without impacting the expiry date of the current certificate. If a gas safety check is done in less than 10 months after the last or after more than 12 months, the expiry date will be a year from which new certificate is issued. All gas safety check records must be retained, until two subsequent ones are completed. With the new 2018 rules, landlords can prevent some of the mistakes they have making so far.
Check www.gassaferegister.co.uk. to find local Gas Safe registered engineer.