The National Federation of Arms Length Management Organisations (NFA) has backed a campaign calling for better gas safety standards in the social housing sector.
Home Group, the Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM) and CORGI Technical Services have set up the Gas Access Campaign to lobby for social housing providers to get the same rights of entry as councils to conduct annual gas safety checks.
The initiative hinges on the argument that it can take social housing providers up to four months to obtain a court order granting access to a property, whereas local authorities can get them within 24 hours of a tenant refusing entry.
Eamon McGoldrick, managing director of NFA, said his organisation has backed the campaign because the safety of tenants is "paramount and all landlords should have the same powers to gain access, where appropriate, to complete gas servicing".
Claire Heyes, chief executive of the AGSM, has welcomed the NFA's support, as the backing of landlords, tenants, suppliers to the sector and trade bodies that represent stakeholders is needed to bring about the changes it wants to see implemented.
Mark Henderson of Home Group stated that the NFA's endorsement "adds weight to the Gas Access Campaign's call for parity on rights of access".
He said the right of entry must be simpler and available to all those who provide social housing, as the existing system is "costly financially and has the potential to be costly in terms of lives".
Mr Henderson warned that dangers from faulty gas appliances are "obvious". This, he stated, is why landlords are "rightly required to conduct annual checks", while it is "also right that landlords should be given powers to do this in a timely manner".