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Landlords

A brief guide to safety regulations currently affecting private rental accommodation

GUARNTEED RENT FOR 1 TO 5 YEARS

Landlords we can offer you a let only, part management or full management service to your property on a 1-5 year guaranteed rent scheme which will also cover legal costs for eviction, all tenants are fully referenced 
and credit checked.

GAS SAFETY REGULATIONS

It is the duty of the owner and a legal requirement to ensure that all gas appliances and flues are maintained in a safe condition and inspected and checked for safety at least every twelve months by a CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) registered engineer.

A Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) should be issued by the CORGI engineer and must record the gas appliances in the property, dates of inspection and any defects identified and the remedial action taken.

Appliances which typically need to be checked include gas central heating boilers, ovens, hobs, water heaters and room heaters that are run on either mains gas or LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas).

A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to each tenant within 28 days of the safety check. Any new tenants must be provided with a copy of the GSC before they occupy the property. It should be noted that records of the annual maintenance check must be kept for a minimum of two years.
Whenever possible, ensure that operating instructions booklets for each gas appliance are available at the property for tenants to refer to.

Remember, apart from the obvious safety implications, it is a criminal offence not to comply with the gas safety regulations.

FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS REGULATIONS
For Landlords planning to leave furniture in rental property, it must be borne in mind you have a duty to ensure it complies with the rules and regulations concerning fire safety in rented accommodation.

The regulations apply to upholstered furniture purchased after March 1st 1993 and includes items such as beds, head-boards and mattresses, sofas, armchairs, sofa-beds, cushions, pillows etc. (this list is not exhaustive). Some items which the regulations do not apply to include antique furniture, or any furniture made before 1950, carpets and curtains.

You should not buy or provide any furniture for letting that does not comply with the regulations. Always look to make sure there is an appropriate label which verifies the furniture complies with the legislation above. An example of this would be a permanent attached written label, or a display label showing a picture of a smoking cigarette and flaming match. Remember to keep all receipts for purchase of furniture and retain the statutory display labels (those not permanently attached) in a safe place in case tenants wish to enquire as to the compliance of any particular item of furniture.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY REGULATIONS
While at present there is no statutory annual testing requirement (unlike gas safety regulations) we thoroughly recommend that prior to letting your property the appropriate checks and safeguards are carried out to meet the requirements of the regulations.

It is important that landlords understand they have a duty to ensure that the fixed electrical installation (i.e. the mains wiring) and any supplied domestic appliances and other electrical equipment in a rental property are safe to use and in good repair.

The regulations cover all mains voltage electrical goods. Examples of appliances covered by these regulations include; cookers, kettles, toasters, electric blankets, immersion heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, etc. We recommend that a portable appliance test (PAT) certificate is provided by a suitably qualified engineer prior to the initial letting of your property and annually thereafter. Any non-repairable items must be replaced or removed. The manufacturer’s operating instructions for each appliance must be available at the property to help ensure tenants use the equipment safely.

It is important that the fixed electrical installation is checked for safety by an NICEIC or similarly qualified electrical engineer. This ensures the wiring, sockets, light fittings etc. are sound and that fittings like showers, electric cookers and immersion heaters are deemed safe. The Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) recommends that this is carried out at least every ten years in a domestic environment.

Under building regulations introduced in January 2005, any new electrical work, repairs, or maintenance carried out on certain ‘high risk’ areas of a residential property must be certified by a qualified electrical engineer who is registered with a Part P Approved Self-Certification Scheme. Failure to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence which could result in a maximum fine of £5000, or imprisonment, or both.

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