HSE GUIDANCE ISSUED ON SAFETY CHECKS AND EMERGENCY REPAIRS23rd March 2020
HSE GUIDANCE ISSUED ON SAFETY CHECKS AND EMERGENCY REPAIRS
Despite calls to Government on the complications of fulfilling safety check and emergency repair obligations as an agent, landlord, contractor and tenant, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued guidance on continuing to carry out these services.
Agents and landlords are now advised to use their best efforts to deliver these obligations during the outbreak of the Coronavirus and should document all communication with tenants if they are unable to do so due to the virus.
If an agent or landlord anticipates difficulties in gaining access as the Coronavirus situation progresses, they 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.
Agents and landlords are encouraged to arrange their 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 that a property is inaccessible, e.g. persistent refusal of access due to vulnerable tenants self-isolating, agents and landlords will be expected to be able to demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to comply with the law. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant and details of their engineers attempts to gain access.
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