Landlords Safety and Legal Requirements
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 say landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for tenant’s use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a technician registered with the Gas Safety Register (which superseded CORGI on 1st April 2009).
The landlord must keep a record of the safety check for two years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
While there isn’t a legal obligation on landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical appliances, there is, however, an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – Part P, and the British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
All electrical certification should be carried out by an electrician whom is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers and Contractors (NICEIC). There are two types of electrical certificate:
- Periodic Inspection Report
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) sets minimum fire resistance standards for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery that remain in a dwelling during the course of a tenancy.
These include any of the following which contain upholstery:
- furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children’s furniture
- beds, head-boards of beds, mattresses (of any size)
- sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
- nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling
- scatter cushions, pillows, seat pads and loose and stretch covers for furniture
The Regulations do not apply to:
- furniture made before 1950
- sleeping bags
- bed-clothes (including duvets)
- loose covers for mattresses
For items that do apply, a suitable label must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser of the furniture and the wording on both sides can be read with reasonable ease. Examples of these labels can be seen above.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide
All properties built since June 1992 must have interlinked mains-connected smoke detectors / alarms on each floor of the property. Smoke alarms must be checked regularly to ensure that they are in full working order. A carbon monoxide detector should also be supplied. These can be purchased for around £5 from most DIY shops.
Energy Performance Certificate
With effect from 1st October 2008, all new tenancies require an Energy Performance Certificate. Their purpose is to determine how energy efficient homes are on a scale of A-G. The most efficient homes – which should have the lowest fuel bills – are in band A. The certificate uses the same scale to define the impact a home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The average property in theUKis in bands D-E for both ratings.
The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency to save money and help the environment.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy
If the landlord wishes to rent their property to multiple occupants, it may mean that a licence is required before the property can be legally rented. Houses in Multiple Occupation are also referred to as “HMOs” and the purpose of the licensing scheme is to improve management and safety standards in this area of the rental sector.
It is now a mandatory duty for:
- All Local Authorities to have a licensing scheme
- Owners of certain types of HMOs to have a licence
For further information on houses in multiple occupation and how this may effect you as a landlord, please speak to one of our representatives
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