Lettings Guide for Landlords
- The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
- Electrical Safety
- Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993)
- Smoke Detectors
- Energy Performance Certificates
- Homes in Multiple Occupancy
- The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998Under these regulations, all Landlords are to ensure the property has the installation of the gas supply and all gas appliances, certified as safe annually by a CORGI registered Gas engineer. A copy of a current in date certificate should be provided to tenants upon move in.
For more information visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm.
Electrical SafetyUnlike the Gas Regulations, there is no statutory requirement to have the electrical installation at a property checked, annually or otherwise. However, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 clearly state that if you let a property you must ensure that the electrical system and all the appliances are safe to use, and failure to comply with this is a criminal offence and may result in a fine or imprisonment. In addition, failure to comply may result in your property insurance being invalidated. These regulations are enforceable by the Health and Safety Executive.
Additionally, In January 2005 new legislation under Part P of the Building Regulations make it a requirement that for certain types of electrical work in dwellings, including outbuildings, comply with the standards. This means a competent electrician must carry out the work.
SurreyLets strongly advise Landlords to demonstrate due diligence and have qualified electricians carry out a periodic Inspection, and that this is conducted every 5 years. In addition it would be additional due diligence to have a PAT (Portable Appliance Test) conducted every tenancy, and for Landlords to keep copies of all inspections.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993)The Government have introduced a number of pieces of legislation to control the level of fire resistance in domestic furniture and furnishings. The most important area for Landlords is the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, under section 11 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
These regulations cover all those associated with furniture and furnishings, from importing and manufacture to retailing and hiring. Hire includes the situation where furniture and furnishing are let as part of a residential letting. Landlords must conform with the Regulations. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture as it is the “filling” that must be fire retardant.
The only exemption likely to be relevant to Landlords is that the Regulations do not apply to furniture made before 1950 and the re-upholstery of furniture made before that date.
Display labels should be attached to all furniture meeting the requirements stating the "the product meets the necessary requirements of the 1988 Safety Regulations."
Smoke DetectorsThe building regulations require that all properties built after June 1992 must have a mains operated inter-connected smoke alarm fitted on every level of the property. Older properties do not have to comply but landlords would be well advised to provide at least 2 battery operated smoke alarms in the property and ensure the tenancy agreement dictates who is responsible for changing the batteries.
Landlords have an obligation to ensure that the property they provide is safe.
SurreyLets recommend seeking advice from local Fire Prevention Offices to advise you on any fire related equipment you wish to install in the property to ensure full fire safety is met.
Energy Performance CertificatesFrom 1st October 2008, all rental properties with a new tenancy & all sales properties in England and Wales will be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). EPCs look similar to the energy labels found on domestic appliances such as fridges and washing machines and report how energy efficient the property is, and how energy efficient it could be.
Prospective tenants will be able to see at a glance how energy efficient and environmentally friendly your property is. If you have invested in energy saving measures your properties will perform well and will really stand out from the crowd. If not you may find them harder to rent out in future. An EPC will last for 10 years and costs under £100 to have one carried out.
SurreyLets can organise an EPC to be carried out on your property if you do not already have one.
Homes in Multiple OccupancyIf your property is on more than three levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising of two or more househoulds (Ie not all of one family unit) the tenancy will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are three or more tenants not all related in any one property, it is still likely to be a HMO and special management rules apply. It is prudent, if in doubt, to contact the council and check.