A guide to landlords' gas safety checks and records

This article gives guidance on the responsibilities of gas engineers and landlords carrying out landlords' gas safety record checks.

As gas safety check must be carried out at least every 12 months on every relevant gas appliance and relevant chimney/flue owned by the landlord and provided for the tenant to use. For new gas appliances, an annual check must be carried out within 12 months of installation. When tenants leave a property, landlords must ensure that gas appliances and fittings are safe before re-letting. This is important as tenants may have damaged or removed appliances and left uncapped, open-ended gas pipes. Before the property is re-let, landlords must provide the new tenants with a current gas safety record.

What should gas engineers do as part of an annual gas safety check?

  • Visual inspection of the gas installation, appliance(s) location, terminal, chimney/flue route/ position and signs of incomplete combustion. 
  • Casings and combustion chamber seals
  • Gas meter/emergency control valve for accessibility in an emergency, for maintenance and correct labelling
  • Appliance burner pressure or gas rate, or both where necessary
  • Combustion gas analysis where specified in the appliances manufacturer's servicing and maintenance instructions
  • Ventilation is clear and sufficiently sized, etc
  • Flue flow and spillage testing where appropriate for correct operation of flue
  • All flame supervision devices and/or other safety controls for correct operation
  • Investigate any evidence of unsafe operation of appliances
  • Investigate any evidence of unsafe operation of appliances
  • Tightness test of the installation is recommended

What information must be recorded?

A landlord's gas safety record must contain:

  • A description of and the location of every appliance and/or chimney/flue checked
  • The name and signature of the person carrying out the check and either their registration number or the registration number of their employer
  • Electronic signatures are permissible - see Technical Bulletin 076: Electronic records and signatues
  • The date on which the appliance and/or chimney/flue is installed
  • The name and address of the landlord (or agent, where appropriate)
  • Any gas safety defect identified and any remedial action taken
  • A statement confirming that the safety check completed complies with the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998, Regulation 26(9)
  • Where an engineer performs work on a gas appliance, they shall immediately thereafter examine:
    • the effectiveness of any flue
    • the supply of combustion air
    • its operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both
    • its operation so as to ensure its safe functioning

Electronic records

A landlord can provide an electronic copy of the gas safety record if the tenant is happy to receive their copy electronically and access it in this way. However, they must provide a paper coy if the tenant asks for it.

A landlord or gas engineer (with the landlord's agreement) may send the electronic record directly to the tenant.

The landlord's responsiblities

  • To ensure that all landlord-owned appliances and flues provided for the tenant to use have a current gas safety check record
  • All gas work must be carried out by as Gas Safe Registered engineer holding the required competence for the appliances(s) in or serving the rental property
  • All safety checks must take place within 12 months of the previous check or, in the case of new gas appliances, within 12 months of being installed, whichever is later.
  • If a new tenancy begins within 12 months between gas safety checks, the landlord must provide a copy of a valid gas safety check record before they move in, or carry out a new gas safety check if preferred.
  • The tenant must receive a copy of the gas safety check record within 28 days of the check being completed
  • The record of each safety check must be kept for a minimum of 2 years
  • If occupancy is for fewer than 28 days - for example, rented holiday accommodation - a copy of the gas safety check may be displayed in a prominent position within the accommodation concerned
  • Ensure that all relevant appliance(s) and flues are maintained in a safe condition

What if an appliance fails the safety check?

The safety check record will contain details of any gas safety defect identified and remedial action taken. You must ensure that any gas safety defect is rectified (by a Gas Safe registered engineer) before the equipment is used again. It is recommended that you keep copies of work done to rectify defects identified by the safety check.

It is an offence to use, or allow the use of, a gas appliance that you know to be unsafe. In no circumstances should you reconnect an appliance that you have been told is unsafe, which has either been isolated or disconnected for safety reasons, until the fault has been rectified. 

How often should installation pipework be maintained?

Landlords have a duty to maintain gas pipework for the properties they let. This is a separate and distinct duty from the annual safety check requirement, but can and should be undertaken at the same time. 

There is no formal or legal requirement to keep pipework maintenance records. However, landlords would need to prove, if asked, that they have regularly maintained installation pipework from meter - or emergency control valve in the case of an LPG installation - to appliance and have completed any required repairs.

What happens if appliances aren't maintained?

Failure to do so may result in loss of life. Not only that, but you risk being prosecuted, and this could result in facing imprisonment or a fine of up to £20,000, or both, for each offence. If the case is then referred to the Crown Court, the maximum penalty may be imprisonment, or an unlimited fine, or both.

Note: Following HSE's consultation on the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR), HSE intends to update Regulation 36(3), to introduce flexibility in the timing of landlords' annual gas safety checks, and clarify which defects should be recorded. This was originally due to be amended this month (October 2017).

Howvever, due o the general election earlier this year, this change will take effect in April 2018.