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Landlords Obligations during covid-19

Updated by Matthews Plumbing and Maintenance ltd 27th March 2020

CP12's - Safety inspection of gas appliances within a rented property.

There has been much speculations, posts, emails and hearsay on this subject, so i have created this blog and shall update it as and when any new information becomes available.

Firstly in short, Landlords are fully obliged to continue safety checks by there due date and have by law an obligation to ensure any such gas appliance in a rented property is safe.

Gas engineers however do not have to attend any property to carry out such safety checks and are not held by such law to complete them.

It's a difficult situation currently and gas engineers are feeling the pressure from landlords, estate agents and tenants.

We shall consider completing safety checks subject to a risk assessment of the property, its occupants and our availability.

Please see the official stance below:-

This information is direct from Gas Safe as of 27th March 2020

The following guidance is intended for landlords of properties: HSE Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for landlords – Updated 27 March 2020 The Health and Safety Executive state: “Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. This is 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. In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, e.g., refusal of access due to tenants self-isolating, or if you are unable to engage a registered gas engineer to carry out the work due to a shortage of available engineers, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant and details of your engineers attempts to gain access. You should seek to arrange the safety check as soon as all parties are available. 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. Current guidance from HM Government concurs that work can still be carried out in people’s homes where necessary, e.g., for reasons of safety, provided that the GOV.UK guidance on social distancing is followed. See ‘Advice for engineers’ for guidance for engineers and their employers regarding working in peoples’ homes.” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ENDS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - We also recommend that you check MHCLG’s advice for landlords and renters, which includes advice such as: Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords. Local authorities are also encouraged to take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to enforcement. - Published 26 March 2020, Gov.UK

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