Landlords Covid-19

UK Government update 25th March 2020
Landlords gas safety checks

COVID-19: Advice for landlords
We are aware that the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK may make it more difficult for landlords to arrange annual safety checks in some cases, as tenants may need to self-isolate for 14 days, or longer periods, and as registered gas engineers availability reduces due to the same measures.

The latest restrictions on leaving the home, announced by the UK government on 23rd March currently allow Registered Gas Engineers to undertake essential work, whilst taking the appropriate precautions advised to avoid spreading or contracting the virus in a new setting.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check.
If you anticipate difficulties in gaining access as the COVID-19 situation progresses, you have the flexibility to carry out annual gas safety checks two months before the deadline date. Landlords can have the annual gas safety checks at their properties carried out any time from 10 to 12 calendar months after the previous check and still retain the original deadline date as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check.
You are encouraged to arrange your annual gas safety checks as early as possible, as a contingency against tenants being in self-isolation for a period of 14 days (in line with current guidelines), or gas engineers being unavailable due to illness.

The two-month period to carry out annual gas safety checks should provide adequate resilience in most situations.

In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, e.g. persistent refusal of access due to vulnerable tenants self-isolating, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law, and that you are seeking to arrange the safety check as soon as all parties are able. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant, and details of your engineers attempts to gain access.

 

Gas Safe Update 23rd March 2020

Landlords gas safety checks
We are seeking updated guidance from the HSE regarding their provisions for Landlords Gas Safety checks during this period of national lockdown. We will publish this as soon as it is available.
The latest restrictions on leaving the home, announced by the UK government on 23rd March currently allow Registered Gas Engineers to undertake essential work, whilst taking the appropriate precautions advised to avoid spreading or contracting the virus in a new setting.

We now have a situation where tenants and customers don’t want engineers in the home, engineers are getting very worried as they don’t want to enter the home, so we are seeking clarification from Gas safe & HSE on this they must act quickly on this matter regarding Gas Safety Checks

Landords:
Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check.

If you anticipate difficulties in gaining access as the COVID-19 situation progresses, you have the flexibility to carry out annual gas safety checks two months before the deadline date. Landlords can have the annual gas safety checks at their properties carried out any time from 10 to 12 calendar months after the previous check and still retain the original deadline date as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check.

This is ok but not the answer we want,  if Gas engineers are being unavailable due to illness or the have signed themselves off,  The two-month period to carry out annual gas safety checks should provide adequate resilience in most situations.

In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, e.g. persistent refusal of access due to vulnerable tenants self-isolating, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law, and that you are seeking to arrange the safety check as soon as all parties are able. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant, and details of your engineers attempts to gain access.

We will update when we know more.

Andy Smith