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10 May 2016
The legal framework for gas regulation is set out in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Under Regulation 36, landlords are determined to have two main duties:
(1) To ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained and in safe condition.
(2) To ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each gas appliance/flue.
The Regulations state that ‘Although related, the duties to have fittings maintained and safety checked are separate and distinct from each other.’
Regulations specify the gas safety matters to be covered. It should NOT therefore be assumed that an annual service inspection (required at point 1 above) meets the safety check requirement (point 2), or vice-versa that a safety check on its own will be sufficient to provide effective maintenance.
It is widely known and accepted that a gas safety check is required each year. However, most companies and gas engineers adopt the approach whilst that a gas safety check is mandatory, a maintenance service is optional. In doing so they are failing to help landlords meet their legal responsibilities under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Having a maintenance service carried out at the same time as a gas safety check is cost effective (since the engineer is already there) and a responsible way not only to fulfil legal duties but to keep equipment well-maintained, which helps to prolong its life expectancy.