Landlords’ gas safety checks and records

The work that gas engineers must carry out during a landlord’s gas safety check, what’s best practice, and how to fill in the record correctly. This article appears in full in the June 2021 edition of Registered Gas Engineer.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR) give guidance on the minimum information that should be recorded and what tests should be undertaken.

What information must be recorded on the gas safety record?
The date on which the appliance or chimney/flue was checked
• The address of the premises
• The name and address of the landlord or agent at which the appliance or chimney/flue are installed
• A description of the location of each appliance or chimney/flue that has been checked
• Any defect identified, and any remedial action taken. This record must be retained until two further checks of the appliance or chimney/flue have been made or, if an appliance or flue has been removed from the premises, the record must be kept for a period of two years from the date of the last check
• Confirmation that the safety check complies with (but is not limited to) Regulation 26(9) of GSIUR
• Your name and signature
• Your Gas Safe registration number.

What checks do I need to do?
GSIUR clearly states the minimum work that must be carried out during a landlord’s gas safety check and the information that must be captured so that the check complies with the regulations.
Within the regulations, 26(9) sets out the checks that you must carry out:
• Visual inspection of the gas installation, appliance(s) location, terminal, chimney/flue route/position and signs of incomplete combustion
• Appliance burner pressure or gas rate, or both where necessary
• Combustion gas analysis where specified in the appliance 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.

You must take all reasonable steps to notify any defects to the landlord or responsible person. If the appliance is supplied with LPG, you should notify the gas supplier, and in any other cases you should notify the transporter. This action should only be taken when an Immediately Dangerous situation is identified and the responsible person refuses permission to disconnect the appliance/installation, in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP), known as IGEM/G/11.

What other checks should be carried out?
Gas Safe Register recommends that you should carry out a tightness test, although this is not a legal requirement. You should also check the gas meter/emergency control valve for accessibility in an emergency, for maintenance and for correct labelling.

How do I record defects?
You should only record defects that are gas safety issues on the gas safety record. These are situations that are classified as At Risk or Immediately Dangerous, in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (IGEM/G/11).

Defects that are not related to gas safety should be communicated via a job report or invoice but NOT added to the defects on the gas safety record. This is because doing so could potentially confuse the responsible person over what  is safe and what is unsafe.

Can I still complete the record if an appliance is AR or ID?
A LGSR is NOT a certificate: it is a record of your findings when you attended that property and should always be issued. You must complete the record to state whether the appliance/s are safe to use or not, and any gas safety defects that the landlord must address.

Keep the expiry date
Landlords can arrange for gas safety checks to be carried out any time 10-12 calendar months after the previous gas safety check, but still retain the original date as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check – much in the same way as car MOTs.

Note: The expiry date on a landlord’s gas safety record must be preserved for 12 months, even when the check has been carried out earlier than this. The Register is aware that, in some instances, gas engineers carrying out a check a month before 12 months have elapsed are then incorrectly filling in the expiry date on ‘next gas safety check due before’ as just a month later, rather than 13 months ahead.

Gas Safe Register says: “Where the gas safety check is carried out less than 10 months or more than 12 months after the previous gas safety check, this will have the effect of ‘resetting the clock’ and the new deadline date will now be 12 months from the date of this latest gas safety check.”

Some manufacturers of landlords’ record pads include a facility to capture “next due date”. There is no legal requirement for this date to be added to the record but if a landlord wishes it to be filled in with the following year’s date, you should inspect the previous record to confirm the date on which last year’s record was completed.

Landlords may still continue with their current regime of gas safety checking, as long as it meets the legal minimum requirements as set out in Regulation 36.