Be safe, know your responsibilities
As a Landlord you are responsible for certain safety requirements within the property that you are letting out. I have put together a brief summary of your responsibilities and have also included a link to the corresponding website responsible for the individual regulations for further information. If you are unsure about anything please speak to us and we will discuss your concerns further.
Summary of the Gas safety (Installation and uses) Regulations 1998
The regulations place legal duties on landlords. The regulations state that you as landlord must carry out a mandatory yearly check to assess whether or not the system and appliances are safe and meet current standards.
The following items must be safe;
- Gas appliances
- Pipework leading to the appliances
- Flues from appliances
The regulations also cover appliances using bottled gas and the external storage of gas (propane gas)
It is a legal requirement to comply with the regulations and failure to do so is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is six months imprisonment, and/or a £5,000 fine
Please note: If a tenant or occupant dies as a result of the Regulations not being adhered to, a more serious charge may be brought.
Employing a suitably qualified engineer.
If you are appointing an engineer to carry out your gas safety record the engineer must be registered with the gas safe Register. Contractors must renew their registration each year. The contractors must also be qualified to check and work on specific appliances. The contractors have to work to an approved accreditation scheme which is over seen by the gas safe register. This is called the National Accreditation Certificate Scheme (ACS). This details what the contractor is allowed to work on, e.g. gas boilers, gas fires etc. If you instruct Sarah Faulkner Lettings and Management Limited to carry this out on your behalf then we will check that the engineer is allowed to work on the necessary appliances.
The law states that a current gas safety record must be produced and given to a tenant before they move in. Later checks must be done within a year of the previous check and a copy of the new gas safety record must be given to the tenant within 28 days of the check.
If you would like further information regarding the regulations then you can do so by clicking here www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Summary of Electrical Safety
There are two current sets of regulations that cover the supply of electrical equipment with a working voltage of between 50 and 1,000 volts.
• Low voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
• Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994
What is safe?
It is not mandatory to have electrical equipment checked each year but good practice. Failing to make sure that electrical equipment and appliances are safe is a criminal offence.
It is an offence to supply any electrical equipment that doesn’t comply with the regulations which state that any electrical equipment supplied should
• Be safe
• Be made in line with safety measures
• Meet safety objectives
The 1994 regulations require that the electrical equipment itself, the packaging, the printed instructions or the guarantee must be marked with the letters ‘CE’ to show they comply with requirements.
As a landlord you should make sure that appliances are regularly serviced and instruction manuals are given to tenants. Although there is no requirement to have electrical items checked there is a legal duty for them to be safe. You can make sure they are safe by regular checks.
If there was an injury or fatality in a property where there was a fire due to an electrical fault it would be up to the landlord and or agent to prove retrospectively that the electrics were safe. This is impossible without documentary evidence that safety checks had been carried out.
The regulations are enforced by the Trading standards Office. Failure to comply could lead to a fine and or a prison sentence.
Help and Advice
If you require further information regarding these regulations then please visit www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
Summary of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 Amended 1993
Since 1 March 1993 new or second hand furniture in rented properties must meet all fire resistance requirements
What is covered?
The regulations cover the following items
• Beds, headboards, mattresses and bed bases
• Sofa beds and futons
• Sofa, arm chairs and footstools
• Nursery furniture
• Garden furniture suitable for use indoors (desk chairs and parasols would not be therefore be covered)
• Scatter cushions and seat pads
• Padded seats
• Loose and stretch furniture covers
What is exempt?
The regulations do not apply to
• Bed covers, including mattress protectors and duvets
• Furniture made before 1950 – as long as it has not been upholstered after 1950. If it has it must comply with the regulations.
• New upholstered furniture must be properly labelled with set information and a fire safety warning.
How to tell whether furniture complies
Upholstered furniture that meets the requirements of the Regulations will normally carry a permanent label with the heading ‘CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE’. In the case of mattresses, look for a label stating compliance with BS 7177.
What can happen if you don’t comply
Non-compliance of the furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations is a criminal offence and may lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and /or a prison sentence.
The regulations do not allow non-compliant furniture to be gifted or sold when the property is let. This is against the regulations.
Help and Advice
These regulations are enforced by local trading standards officers. If in doubt contact your local trading standards office or www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
These are my thoughts on the Crewe and Nantwich property market as well as some useful hints and tips. I've been working in property for 25 years and love it
If you want to talk to me about a new buy to let investment, the best area to invest in or you just want advice about becoming a landlord then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01270 661395.
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