Important Safety and Legal Requirements
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 state landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for the tenant’s use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a technician registered with the Gas Safety Register (which superseded CORGI on 1st April 2009).
The landlord must keep a record of the safety check for two years. They must issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
While there isn’t a legal obligation on landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical appliances, there is, however, an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – Part P, and the British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
All electrical certification should be carried out by an electrician who is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers and Contractors (NICEIC). There are two types of electrical certificate:
- Periodic Inspection Report
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
Recent legislation has made landlords responsible persons for assessing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease at their let properties. In order to comply with the legislation a Legionnaires’ Disease Risk Assessment should be completed at their properties.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) sets minimum fire resistance standards for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery that remain in a dwelling during the course of a tenancy.
These include any of the following which contain upholstery:
- Furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children's furniture
- Beds, head-boards of beds, mattresses (of any size)
- Sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
- Nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling
- Scatter cushions, pillows, seat pads and loose and stretch covers for furniture
The Regulations do not apply to:
- Furniture made before 1950
- Sleeping bags
- Bed-clothes (including duvets)
- Loose covers for mattresses
For items that do apply, a suitable label must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser of the furniture and the wording on both sides can be read with reasonable ease. Examples of these labels can be seen above.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Regulations become law on 1 October 2015. The regulations have compliance implications for landlords and letting agents in England. Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.
All properties built since June 1992 must have interlinked mains-connected smoke detectors / alarms on each floor of the property. Smoke alarms must be checked regularly to ensure that they are in full working order. A carbon monoxide detector should also be supplied. These can be purchased for around £5 from most DIY shops.