Here are some important points that you must adhere to and it’s important to get them right. The areas that you must look at are:
Gas safety regulations – will your property pass the landlord’s Gas Safe Certificate?
- Landlords must arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which they own and have provided for their tenants use.
- Landlords must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer
- Landlords must keep a record of the safety check for 2 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.
- Frequently asked questions for landlords and letting agents.
It is important to insure that all electrical appliances and fittings within the property are safe and in good working order. Unlike gas regulations, there is no law that says you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. But, should any electrical fittings or appliances within your rental property cause harm to a tenant you could be held liable. The tenant could sue you for damages or worse you may be brought before a court for negligence under the regulations. Manage your property well and the risks to you as landlord or agent are minimal, but manage it badly and your risks are high. You are advised to make visual inspections yourself as landlord (record on a safety checklist) and have periodic checks carried out by a qualified electrician.
Key Points to think about concerning Electrical Safety
- If you let property in Engalnd & Wales you must ensure that electrical equipment and system is safe.
- The electrical safety regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive.
- There is currently no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment as there is with gas, but it’s advisable to do so.
- You should ensure that tenants are given copies of operating and safety instructions for ALL equipment in the premises.
- Keep supplied appliances to a minimum.
- Make sure appliances supplied are complete and in working order – keep purchase receipts.
- Pay particular attention to second hand equipment – always have these items checked.
- Ensure that flexes are in good order and properly attached to appliances and plugs.
- Ensure that earth tags are in place.
- Ensure that plugs are of an approved type with sleeved live and neutral pins.
- Ensure that plugs and sockets conform to BS1363 or BS1363/A for heavy duty uses.
- Ensure that all fuses are of the correct type and rating.
- Make sure that tenants know the location of and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch.
If you are in any doubt about the wiring or the safety of any appliances consult a qualified electrician.
Fire and furnishing regulations
If you let your residential property furnished you must ensure that certain types of furniture and furnishings provided meet the current safety regulations. These regulations are enforced by local Trading Standards Officers.
From 1st January 1997 all furniture in tenanted residential property must comply with the 1993 amendments to the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. This covers the supplying and hiring or lending of upholstered furniture and certain furnishings.
For some landlords these regulations are not an issue. This is because you may choose to let your property unfurnished or part furnished and therefore without any soft furnishings other than perhaps curtains which are exempted from the regulations.
If you do choose to furnish your property you must ensure that the correct labels are in place identifying the fact that the materials are fire resistant. Failure to do this will open you up to prosecution and also put your tenants in a potentially hazardous position.