Landlord Safety Checks

From the 1st October 2015, all Landlords will have to ensure their rental properties are fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords must also make sure all electrical installation has been fitted correctly and the necessary steps for fire safety have been carried out.

This may seem a daunting task for accidental Landlords and may leave you feeling confused, but fear not – Rentr is here to help with our DIY Letting app for Landlords!

In this post we take a closer look at exactly what the legal requirements are for Landlords, and what steps to take. Update your Rentr property management App to get access to the new functionality we have introduced to ensure your safety checks records are up-to-date for all your properties.

 

From the 1st October 2015, all Landlords will have to ensure their rental properties are fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords must also make sure all electrical installation has been fitted correctly and the necessary steps for fire safety have been carried out.

This may seem a daunting task for accidental Landlords and may leave you feeling confused, but fear not – Rentr is here to help with our DIY Letting app for Landlords!

In this post we take a closer look at exactly what the legal requirements are for Landlords, and what steps to take. Update your Rentr property management App to get access to the new functionality we have introduced to ensure your safety checks records are up-to-date for all your properties.

 

It is important to note that the requirements listed below are statutory, legal requirements which all Landlords and Tenants need to be aware of. These laws are there to protect not just the Tenant, but also the Landlord. It will enable the letting process to be a smooth one; free from hassle and complication.

Landlords who fail to install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

These provisions only apply to Landlords with properties in England; not Wales.

GAS SAFETY

Carbon Monoxide:

All Landlords, from the 1st October 2015, have a legal requirement to install carbon monoxide detectors in high risk rooms in their rental properties. This is especially required for rooms with cookers, hobs, wood burning stoves, solid fuel Aga ovens and any place where an open fire may be situated.

Gas Supply:

In addition to installing these alarms, Landlords must also get an annual Gas Safety Certificate for any gas-supplied residences. They must also ensure that fixed heating appliances are properly designed, correctly installed and serviced regularly.

In accordance to the introduction of Section 21, from the 1st October 2015, Landlords must also provide their new tenants with the updated Gas Safety Certificate. If the Landlord fails to do so, then they will not be eligible to serve a ‘No Fault’ Section 21 eviction notice. To add to this, if Landlords do not provide this, then Tenants are not expected to follow the 28 days Notice to Quit.

SMOKE ALARMS

Landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the property they are letting. This includes floors that have rooms used for living accommodation, bathroom or toilet, lounge, dining room and kitchen. Likewise, for flats comprising of more than one storey, there will need to be a smoke alarm on each floor.

The Regulations do not outline what kind of alarm is required. Ideally it should be a hard wired alarm system. It is recommended to fit a ten year long life tamper proof alarm, as there is often the issue of batteries being taken out and not being replaced.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that all smoke alarms have been tested and are working correctly when tenants move in to a property.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Landlords must ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and is maintained throughout its duration.

Landlords need to make sure that there are appropriately sited electric sockets to reduce overloading and excessive use. They need to check that the distribution board is maintained and checked regularly.

Circuit breakers are highly recommended as they are an automatically operated electrical switch which is designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage often caused by overload or a short circuit. Circuit breakers work to detect a fault and if detected interrupts the current flow. Circuit breakers are different from fuses, that only work once and needs to be replaced each time. Circuit breakers automatically reset and resume normal functioning.

The electrical installation (fixed wiring) in a property should be checked and certified as safe every five years.

FIRE SAFETY

All landlords are under a common law duty to ensure that the property they provide is safe and complies with building regulations, this of course includes various fire safety precautions that all Landlords must take.

By law, you must:

  1. Follow fire safety regulations, for instance, ensuring that the tenants have sufficient access to escape routes.
  2. Make sure that all furniture supplied with the tenancy is fire safe.
  3. Provide fire alarms and fire extinguishers (only required if the property is a HMO).

Fire-safe furniture and furnishings:

Furniture and furnishings that comply with fire resistance requirements laid out in the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 are ‘fire safe’.

As part of these regulations, all new furniture should come with a label that is stitched on the underside of the furniture. This label indicates that it has passed the required fire safety tests and thus is compliant with regulations.

If you have recently bought furniture, but it doesn’t have a fire safety label attached, then you should try to find the receipt, contact the trader and complain that the furniture is not compliant to regulations and is not fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act 1978. You should be eligible for a refund or exchange.

Manage Your Obligations with Rentr

Use the latest version of the Rentr Property Management App for landlords and the Property Details section will actually walk you through everything you need to do to check and comply with the government letting regulations.

With places to store all the required dates, information, and documents and handy reminders to help keep you on the right side of the law, Rentr contains tools to help you with all your DIY letting needs.

By | 2016-09-06T08:10:25+00:00 November 16th, 2015|Landlord, News, Responsibilties, Tools|0 Comments

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