A large section of my job role involves gas and electric safety checks and their annual renewals. This is obviously imperative to ensure tenant safety and Landlord compliance.
On a weekly basis, I inform tenants and landlords of due dates for safety checks, arrange contractor appointments, collect updates, confirm appointment bookings, collect certificates and check for any remedial works which may be required.
Eight weeks prior to the expiry of safety checks Landlords are informed of the expiry dates and reminded of their obligation to have the property checked.
I most cases Landlords give instruction to us at the beginning of a tenancy to have these checks carried out by our approved contractors. In these instances, Landlords are reminded of the upcoming checks and informed that we will arrange appointments.
A Landlord choosing to use his/her own approved contractor is reminded of their obligations and asked to inform us immediately of a booked appointment. We then contact the Landlord on a weekly basis until we have confirmation of a booked date.
Tenants are informed of the expiry date of the safety checks, notified of who will be arranging the appointment and advised to confirm booked appointments are kept to ensure safety.
When it comes to the electric safety checks, we are sometime asked how often these are required and why they are required when there is no clear demand for electric testing. We educate our landlords to the ARLA recommendations of having visual electric inspections on an annual basis, or to have a Full Periodic Report done no less than every 3 years. A Landlord choosing to have a Periodic Report is reminded to have a test conducted before a new tenant moves into the property (no more than once a year) to confirm any damages by the previous tenant.
Now, as well as educating Landlords, we are required to educate tenants also and stress the importance of their cooperation when arranging appointments. It is my duty to safeguard tenants and landlords and ensure our contractors gain access and complete the checks on or before the expiry date, therefore we have staged letters which confirm appointments. On some occasions the lack of access can hinder the timely manner of completed checks. Therefore, we contact all parties on a weekly basis by telelphone, e-mail and letter for confirmation of booked dates and can be rest assured all are arranged and carried out in time. If access still can’t be gained we then seek Court proceedings to be granted access to carry out the checks
It can’t be assumed that when a certificate is received that all is in good order. All paperwork must be checked for confirmation of pass/safe to use; any issued warning labels, summary of observations and any found defects.
Gas certificates show confirmation of ‘Safe To Use’, pass/fail details and lists of faults found and remedial actions taken. Any faults found will usually be reported by the contractor while on site. Therefore, we can arrange remedial works to be carried out there and then when possible.
The Gas Safety Certificate must be kept by a landlord/Agent for a minimum of two years from the date of the Gas Safety check.
Electric certificates show a summary of the inspection and observations and will list separately any defects found. These are listed as follows:
Code 1: DANGEROUS – REQUIRES URGENT ATTENTION
Code 2: REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT WITHIN 30 DAYS
Code 3: REQUIRES FURTHER INVESTIGATION
Code 4: DOES NOT MEET RELEVENT REGULATION BUT IT NOT NECESSARLY DANGEROUS
Codes 1 & 2 cannot be ignored for a ‘later in the day’ job. These MUST be dealt with upon immediate receipt and the landlord and tenant informed of arrangements! As agents, it is our duty to have all required works carried out in the relevant time frame.
Code 3 will require the contractor to delve further into the possible problem and Code 4 is more of an advisory item.
When all repair works are completed, a new ‘clean’ certificate will be issued to keep in the tenancy file. All certificates relating to the property should be kept.
When all is in order with clean certificates, a new action is then created for the next renewal of the checks to start the procedure again the following year.
With this procedure in place, Concentric Lettings landlords are safe in the knowledge that their proeprties, tenants and themselves are safe and compliant.
Helen Deeley has worked in the property and property maintenance capacity for over 8 years, joining the Concentric/Lawson’s team in 2009.
From a history of being responsible for organisation of contractors, projects and works on factories and commercial buildings for a large corporate maintenance holding company, and then working in partnership with local council, housing department in the regenerations of housing. Here she personally handled the refurbishment of run down vacant properties in the local borough.
Since joining the Lawson’s/Concentric team, Helen has worked her way through the ranks and now enjoys managing the HUB, a collection of property management experts, property inspectors and contractors to manage all the properties throughout the UK for both companies.
Helens organisational and teaching/management skills have allowed her to excel in this role, and is now moving into the capacity of Trainer for the group.
Her wealth of experience is a great benefit to the team and our landlords and shines through in the numerous videos, blogs and articles that she writes.
Property Management Manager-Concentric Lettings