Health and Safety, other Legal Requirements

The owner (Landlord) is responsible for the following requirements. Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.

Gas
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states that all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a CORGI registered gas installer).
There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipe work are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
Full records are to be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of defects found and of remedial action taken.
A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check made.

Electrical
There are several regulations about electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are ‘supplying in the course of business’. Including: the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – ‘Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
There is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of HMOs) with tenanted properties, but in the letting industry it is now widely accepted that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid any risks and future problems is to arrange such an inspection and get a certificate.

Fire
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

Smoke Alarms
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common law ‘duty of care’ means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).

Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply.

We hope that the above information helped you answering your questions. If there are any parts of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the letting and management of your property.