This section will give you guidance on Legislation or recommendations for Gas, Electrics, Furniture & Furnishings and Smoke Alarms in residential rented properties. Please take the time to read this as there are serious consequences for non-compliance.
Under gas legislation (as from 31 October 1994) rented properties must have an annual safety check carried out on all gas appliances – as your Managing Agents we are required to keep records of these inspections. We can arrange this servicing for you with a Gas Safe registered engineer. As a Landlord, you have a duty to ensure:
Gas fittings (appliances, pipework) and flues are maintained in a safe condition
All installation, maintenance and safety checks are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer
An annual safety check is carried out on each gas appliance/flue by a Gas Safe registered Installer
Checks need to have taken place within one year of the start of the tenancy/lease date, unless the appliances have been installed for less than 12 months, in which case they should be checked within 12 months of their installation date
A record of each safety check is kept for two years
Failure to produce a valid certificate is a criminal offence and will result in a punishment of 6 month’s imprisonment or a fine currently £5,000, or both. If injury or death is caused by faulty appliances then the Landlord could be facing a prison sentence.
The following information is offered only as a guideline to Landlords and to ensure the safety of your Tenant and your property. The maximum penalty for non-compliance can be a fine of £500 or 6 months imprisonment.
Landlords have a duty to ensure that the fixed wiring electrical installation and any other electrical appliances that remain in a property are safe otherwise run the risk of being prosecuted should any unsafe electrics result in an injury or death. We therefore recommend that prior to any letting a competent qualified electrician who holds I.E.E. or C.I.T.B. qualifications, carry out a 5 year periodic electrical safety inspection to include a Periodic Inspection Report for an Electrical Installation (Requirements for Electrical Installations – BS 7671 IEE Wiring Regulations).
We can organise this inspection to be carried out on your behalf but if you prefer to organise this yourself copies of any certificates will need to be provided to us prior to the Tenant moving in.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
Under the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) it is an offence to “supply” furniture as part of a rented furnished accommodation which does not comply with the Fire Resistance Requirements contained in Regulation 14. Under these Regulations the main provisions are:
Upholstered articles (i.e. beds, sofas, armchairs, etc.) must have fire resistant filling material.
Upholstered articles must have passed a match resistance test or, if of certain kinds (such as cotton or silk) be used with a fire resistant interliner.
The combination of the cover fabric and the filling material must have passed a cigarette resistance test.
Proof of the above must be provided by way of receipts or attached labels. If found guilty this offence carries a punishment of 6 months imprisonment or a fine, currently £5,000, or both.
SMOKE ALARMS AND CO2 ALARM
Requirement for Smoke alarms
As of 1st October 2015 while the premises are occupied under a tenancy the landlord must ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises. As regards individual flats located on one floor then there will have to be at least one alarm within the flat itself or alternatively are provided outside the flat on the same floor of the building, i.e. a communal alarm.
Likewise, for flats comprising more than one storey there will need to be a smoke alarm on each floor.
It is the location of an alarm which sounds which is crucial; not the positioning of detectors.
The Regulations do not stipulate what kind of alarm is required. Ideally it should be a hard wired alarm system. It can, however, be a single stand-alone alarm. Landlords are recommended by the RLA to fit ten year long life non-tamper proof alarms, otherwise there is a problem of batteries being taken out and not being replaced.
Requirement for Carbon Monoxide alarms
Likewise, during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 when the premises are occupied under a tenancy a carbon monoxide alarm must be provided by the landlord in any room in premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. This applies to any kind of wood burning stove or an open coal fire. It will also extend to equipment such as a solid fuel Aga in the kitchen. This is already a requirement with new installations of solid fuel burning combustion appliances as under Building Regulations there is a requirement to install a carbon monoxide alarm. This is now extended to any existing appliances already in place before Building Regulations imposed this requirement or where building regulations are not observed.