Legal Regulations

When letting your property you must ensure that your property complies with the current Legislation and Regulations for Health and Safety. If you use our Full Management Service, we can help you ensure your property is up-to-date and in-line with the current legislation.

What are the Current Legal Requirements for Landlords?

According to the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998,

  1. General Safety – all gas appliances – central heating boilers, water heaters, cookers, hobs and gas fires should be safe and inspected annually. Any inspection, repair or maintenance of a gas appliance must be carried out by a qualified professional who is GAS SAFE registered.
  2. Flues – all flues should be fitted correctly and checked for blockages annually. No open-flue appliances should be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms.
  3. Instruction Manuals – instructions for the operation of any gas appliance should be made available to the tenant.

A copy of the CP12 Annual Gas Safety Certificate (which is not the same as a Boiler Service) must be given to the tenant and a copy held in our office annually. Non-compliance could result in you being liable for a £5000 fine or a six-month prison sentence.

All wiring and appliances must be ‘safe’ i.e. to prevent risk of injury or death. There are several safety regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety.

These include Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, Building Regulations Electrical Safety 2005, British Standard BS1363, General Product (Safety) Regulations 2005 and Consumer Protection Act 1997.

There is currently no legal requirement for electrical safety certificates – except in the case of all HMOs. Although, there are two types of electrical inspections, one for the actual wiring installation, a Periodic Electrical Installation report and another for any portable electrical appliances (PAT test).

We can arrange for these electrical inspections to be carried out by a qualified electrician.

It has been a legal requirement that all new houses built after June 1992 and all properties declared as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) must have electronically linked, mains operated smoke detectors installed on each floor.

From 1st October 2015, you must ensure your property is fitted with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:- The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

Smoke alarms must be installed on every storey of your property and tested at the start of each tenancy.  A carbon monoxide alarm is required in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. However, we would recommend their installation as all gas appliances emit carbon monoxide.

Tenants are required to test the Smoke & CO Detectors weekly, vacuum every 3 months and replace the batteries when required.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been required by law since 01 October 2008 and is required before a property can be marketed. If a landlord fails to provide an EPC to a tenant, or fails to show an EPC to an enforcement officer when asked, Trading Standards can issue a notice with a penalty charge of £200 per dwelling. An EPC is valid for 10 years.

From the 01 April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 01 April 2018 and all existing tenancies from 01 April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property that does not have a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

Properties can be let Furnished or Unfurnished.

Most properties are let unfurnished, however, all soft furnishings supplied with a property must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

This states that all upholstered furniture or furnishings must meet the Fire and Safety Regulations. This includes three piece suites, sofas and arm chairs, scatter cushions, seat pads and bean bags, loose covers on upholstered furniture, convertible sofa beds and futons, and conservatory furniture, and garden furniture which is suitable for indoor use.

These regulations do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, as well as items such as bed covers including duvets, linens and pillowcases, mattress protectors, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags.

Please note:- Most furniture manufactured by reputable suppliers after March 1990 should comply with the Regulations and will be labelled accordingly.

Health and Safety legislation requires that landlords carry out a risk assessment for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires‘ disease and thereafter, maintain control measures to minimise the risk. (Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced).

Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person.

Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45 degrees if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60 degrees or above.

In 2014 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) made it’s guidelines for prevention of Legionella a legal requirement. Further information is available at their website www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaire.

If you would like to find out more about legal requirements for your property, please contact us today on 01303 248 179 on contact us online.

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