06 October, 2014
Home Group have recently announced that they are working alongside the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) and Corgi to campaign for a change in the law to give housing associations the same abilities as local authorities to carry out annual gas safety checks in a timely manner.
The Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998 ('the Regulations') oblige landlords to ensure that the gas appliances and flues are safe in their properties every year. This annual check protects both tenants, and their neighbours, from the risk of gas explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Failure to carry out this annual check exposes landlords to both statutory and regulatory punishment.
Whilst the Regulations clearly set out the obligations placed upon landlords, some argue that they do not provide landlords with a quick way to ensure access to properties to carry out the annual checks that they are legally required to conduct. Currently, landlords are forced to commence legal proceedings in order to gain access to properties which can be both timely and costly. Therefore, Home Group, AGSM and CORGI are campaigning for housing associations to be given the same rights as local authorities who are able to apply for a warrant in the Magistrates Court to gain access to a property. More information about the gas access campaign can be found at www.gasaccesscampaign.org.
Whilst this campaign is underway, landlords must still ensure that they using the correct legal procedures to ensure timely access to their properties to carry out the gas safety check. Here at Forbes we have worked alongside a number of Registered Providers to ensure they have a robust policy in place to deal with tenants who refuse access, complemented with swift legal action once their internal procedure has been exhausted.