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 by a Gas Safe registered engineer. As your Managing Agents we can arrange for this servicing and are required to keep records of these inspections.
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 must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
§ An annual safety check must be carried out on each gas appliance/flue by a Gas Safe registered Installer.
§ 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 months’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. If injury or death is caused by faulty appliances then the Landlord could be facing a prison sentence.
Prior to letting your property, as from 1st July 2020 it is mandatory to have an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) carried out which lasts for 5 years. This inspection must be carried out by a competent qualified Electrician and issued in accordance with BS 7671 : 2018 – Requirements for Electrical Installations.
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.
THE HOMES ACT (FITNESS FOR HUMAN HABITATION)
On 20 March 2019 a new law came into force to make sure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’, which means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
If rented houses and flats are not ‘fit for human habitation’, tenants can take their landlords to court. The court can make the landlord carry out repairs or put right health and safety problems. The court can also make the landlord pay compensation to the tenant.
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 and/or a fine.
SMOKE ALARMS AND CO ALARM
1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 1 October 2015.
2. From 1 October 2022. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)
Landlords must also ensure all alarms work properly at the start of each new tenancy.
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