Landlord Legal Requirements On Safety
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Read Our Safety Guide ↓Why Worry About Safety?
Regulations seem to exist around every corner when you become a Landlord and it can be hard to stay in line. We've been helping Landlords and Tenants for many years, so feel free to ask us at any time if you need help.
As a Landlord of residential property, you have a duty of care to your Tenant and a legal obligation to comply with relevant health and safety legislation. Failure to meet these obligations may lead to criminal and civil proceedings.
You must be aware of the current safety regulations before you sign the Terms of Business thereby creating a contract with us. We require all properties to meet relevant legal safety standards before the Tenant moves in. Landlords Legal Requirements On Safety
We will carry out the legally required Right-to-Rent checks which ensure Tenants renting property in the UK have a legal right to be in the country.
STRUCTURE OF THE PROPERTY
You must keep the exterior and structure of the property in good repair. This includes heating, drains, gutters, external pipes, and installations for gas, electricity, water and sanitation.
THE GAS SAFETY
One of the key responsibilities for Landlords renting a property is ensuring their property is safe to live in. One of the most important things is guaranteeing the property is gas safe. Landlords have several responsibilities in this area and this guide is designed to help Landlords understand their responsibilities, the potential penalties for non-compliance, and some practical guidance on performing your duties as a Landlord.
Landlords are responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances, including the installation pipe or flues are maintained in a safe condition through the entire time the property is occupied. They should be particularly mindful of this when responding to repair requests.
Landlords of rented residential accommodation must have an annual gas safety check carried out on gas appliances which they provide (and all related gas flues). This work must be performed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
Until April 6th 2018, a Gas Safety Certificate would last for 12 months from the day the engineer performed the inspection. This often meant that Landlords would get a check done every 10-11 months rather than risking breaching the law.
From April 6th 2018 this position will change. A gas safety inspection performed in the 2 months prior to the expiry of the current Certificate is treated as having been performed on the last day of the existing certificate.
Where the Landlord has had a brand-new installation of gas appliances (or they have bought a brand-new property) they do not immediately need a Gas Safety Certificate. However, they are required to check the appliances are working within 12 months of installation. To avoid any potential issues around the service of a Section 21 notice, Landlords may find it easiest to perform this inspection and receive a CP12 notice prior to a Tenant moving in.
BIG Property work alongside qualified and reputable teams of Gas Safe Engineers and would be happy to arrange a Gas Safety Inspection on your behalf each year as part of our service. Please see charges for this in scale of fees and charges.
Once the check has been performed the Landlord will receive a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (or CP12 as it is often referred to) from the engineer.
SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
You must have at least one working and compliant smoke alarm on every storey of your property.
Any room that contains a solid-fuel burning appliance must contain a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. Such appliances include open fires, wood-burning stove, multi-fuel stove or where biomass is used as fuel.
You must check the alarms on the first day of any new tenancy, and it is then the Tenant's responsibility to check them once a month and report any problems to you or us.
We can arrange for smoke alarms to be fitted for you if you wish.
THE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994
All electrical equipment must comply with the safety requirements of the 1994 Regulations. As Landlord you must ensure that it won't cause danger to your Tenants. If you opt for our ‘Find & Manage' Service, we arrange this for you.
These regulations cover all mains voltage household electrical goods and require that the supplier of such goods ensures they are safe. Landlords must ensure such safety, which includes flexes and plugs.
The mains electric plugs, wires and circuits must also be safe, and we recommend you have all electrical goods and equipment checked by a fully NICEIC qualified electrician before the property is Let and periodically thereafter.
HOUSING, HEALTH & SAFETY RATING SYSTEM (HHSRS)
The HHSRS allows local authorities to assess the condition of a property and any potential hazards. The aim is to maintain good standards in the private rented sector. We can help you understand how this legislation may apply to your property.
THE FURNITURE AND FURNISHING (FIRE / SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1988 (AS AMENDED)
You must ensure that all furniture and soft furnishings comply with current fire regulations. Non-compliant furniture must be removed or replaced. Your property must meet the regulations and compliant furniture should have confirming labels attached. We can advise you of the exclusions to this legislation.
Repairs and maintenance are a Landlord's expense unless it can be established that a Tenant has mis-used a property.
Landlords have a statutory responsibility for certain repairs under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 relating to:
The structure and exterior of the dwelling, drains, gutters and external pipes
Installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation
Space and water heating appliances.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)
As a rule, an EPC is required every time a home is put up for sale or for rent. A Landlord will need one to show potential Tenants, and a seller must have one to show to potential buyers.
There are a few exceptions. You don't need one for a room that's being rented out by a resident Landlord, and listed buildings may also be exempt as they can't have upgrades like double glazing.
The requirement for an EPC has been the law since 2008 (2009 in Scotland), meaning that if your home has been Let or sold since then it should have one. They remain valid for 10 years.
There's a national register of EPC's, unless you've opted out, where you can take a look at your property's previous certificates (as well as viewing similar properties in your neighbourhood for a comparison of how energy efficient your home is).
A section of your EPC will be dedicated to how energy efficient your property is. It's graded from A to G, with A denoting an energy efficient, well insulated,(probably modern) home, and G meaning an older property with more evidence of escaping energy.
Typically, you'll find an older property with no retro-fitted energy-saving technology will be around a D grade.
There will also be a number from 1 – 100, where a higher number signifies that the home is more efficient, and the fuel bills will cost less.
The certificate is valid for ten years unless significant improvements are made to the property in which case a new assessment should be carried out and a certificate issued.
From April 2018, Landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, Landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement.
The information provided on an EPC is also helpful for Tenants looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. As of April 2016, Tenants can now seek permission from their Landlord to undertake energy efficiency measures on their privately rented property.
We are happy to arrange this certificate on your behalf. Please see our scale of fees for more information.
HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION (HMO)
If the tenancy created results in the property becoming a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) as defined by the Housing Act 2004, (The Act) the Landlord warrants that:
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is any residential property occupied by three or more people sharing facilities like a bathroom and/or kitchen who form two or more 'households'.
A ‘household' is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:
Married couples or couples living together as married (including people in same-sex relationships)
Relatives or half-relatives e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, nieces, cousins
Step-parents and step-children and half-relatives
Foster parents and foster children
Some domestic staff would be included in the household if they are living in the house because of the terms of their contract e.g. an adult carer and up to three people receiving care are a single household.
If you are not sure whether it needs to be licenced, then contact the local borough council in question - often their website contains the relevant information.
WATER SUPPLY AND LEGIONELLA
As a Landlord you have a responsibility to ensure that your Tenants are protected from the health risks that bacteria can create. Although Legionnaires' disease is rare in the UK, it is something you should be aware of.
Legionella is a type of pathogenic bacteria (basically bacteria that leads to infection) that causes a range of pneumonia-like illnesses such as Legionellosis and Legionnaires' disease. This happens when small droplets of water that contain the legionella bacteria are inhaled, often through water sprays or mists.
You can't get specific certificates or registers to prove Legionella safety. But it's important you understand the risks and put measures in place to control them.
We can arrange for suitable checks if you wish. Useful Information About Lettings
INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLIANCES
You must ensure that all instruction manuals and operating instructions for appliances are left at the property for the Tenant's use. This is especially important for central heating and hot water systems, but also for cookers, washing machines, fridge-freezers, gas fires and other appliances.
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