The Legal stuff
There are many different legal obligations on Landlords and it is really important that you are aware of them and understand what is necessary to comply. Here we will consider obligations relating to Electric Equipment, Plugs & Sockets, Gas Safety, Furniture and Building Regulations to be some of the most important. If you require any further information or advice then you can contact and we will be happy to go through this with you.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
All electrical supplies and appliances within a lettings property must be ‘safe’.
· All electrical appliances must be checked at regular intervals for defects.
· All items that could be considered unsafe should be removed from the property prior to it being offered for rent.
· It is advisable and we strongly recommend that all landlords have electrical appliances checked at least once a year.
· We would recommend that you fit Smoke alarms to all let properties and they should be regularly checked to ensure that they are in full working order.
The Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 (Consumer Protection Act 1987)
· Any plug, socket or adapter supplied which is intended for domestic use, must comply with the appropriate current regulations. For further information contact: http://www.opsi.gov.uk and search for the Regulations.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
All gas appliances, pipe work and flues should be maintained to ensure they are safe to use. It is a legal requirement that you have an inspection carried out by a qualified registered gas engineer.
A Gas Safety Record (GSR) must be kept with the dates of inspection and any defects identified. This record must be provided to the tenant when signing the tenancy agreement.
A gas appliance with an open flue should not be installed in a bedroom.
Where the gas meter is installed in a meter box, you should supply the tenant with a suitably labelled key to the box.
After work on any gas appliance, a defined series of safety checks must be performed.
Instructions for any gas appliance must be left for the tenant.
Any gas appliance that is suspected or known to be faulty or incorrectly installed must not be used by anyone and should be removed/replaced or repaired immediately
Ventilation is needed for gas appliances to work correctly and safely. You should take care not to block vents and air bricks
The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
· These regulations provide that it is an offence to install furniture in let properties which does not comply with the requirements of the regulations.
· The regulations apply to all types of furniture including beds, mattresses, headboards, scatter cushions, pillows, furniture covers, all children’s furniture, garden furniture and all items which have similar fillings. The furniture concerned must carry a label of compliance.
· Upholstered furniture must have fire resistant filling material and must pass a cigarette resistance test.
· Permanent covers must pass a match resistance test.
· Furniture in any property which qualifies for the transitional period (i.e. was let prior to 1st March 1993 and continued to be let), does not have to comply until the tenant who occupied the property prior to 1st January 1997, vacates the property.
Any furniture added to the property since 1st March 1993 must comply with these requirements whether new or second-hand.
· The regulations do not apply to:
- antique furniture or any made before 1st January 1950
- bedclothes (including duvets and pillowcases)
- loose covers for mattresses, curtains
- carpets, sleeping bags, cushion covers.
Building Regulations - Part "P" Electrical Safety in Dwellings
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 puts the onus on Landlords to ensure the electrical installation in their property is safe when the tenancy begins, and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. All domestic electric installation work must be carried out by an approved” contractor. The work must comply with British Standard Safety Requirements (BS7671). It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with these regulations. It could result in fines of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment.