The introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act has brought the need for safety back to the fore. If a tenant finds the rental property is unsafe or unsuitable, they can sue their landlord. Therefore, many landlords now take safety much more seriously at home.
If you let rental property, there are three main areas where you must carry out regular checks:
· Fire safety
· Electrical safety
· Gas safety
Landlords should also be aware they are required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate to your tenant. This EPC should be provided at the beginning of the tenancy.
Fire safety regulations for landlords
It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn landlords have a range of responsibilities relating to fire safety. You must provide a smoke alarm for each floor of your rental property. If there is a solid fuel-burning appliance in a room in the rental property, there must be a carbon monoxide alarm in the room. You should always ensure escape routes are accessible.
It is good practice for landlords to run their tenants through the escape procedure. By doing this, you will feel confident the tenant has the information they need to make a safe and smart decision should the need arise. Hopefully, there won’t be a need for the tenant to use this information, but they should know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Electrical safety regulations for landlords
Landlords are required, by law, to ensure the electrical system in their rental property is safe. Therefore, landlords should review light fittings and sockets in their property. If a landlord supplies electrical equipment as part of the tenancy, these should be checked too. If you provide a cooker or lamps, take the time to review they are in good working order.
Between tenancies, landlords should conduct a visual inspection of the rental property. A PAT should be undertaken on all movable electrical appliances. This test should be conducted each year.
Gas safety regulations for landlords
Landlords must have gas appliances and flues checked on an annual basis by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This test should include boilers, hobs and cookers. A copy of the gas safety check should be given to tenants within 28 days of the analysis being carried out. New tenants should receive a copy of this certificate when they move into the rental property.
If any new gas appliances or equipment is installed, ensure Gas Safe engineers review them.
As a landlord, you need help maintaining the condition of the property. Safety is paramount, and it should be a priority for landlords. If you need help keeping standards for your tenants, contact Holmes Estate Agents, and we’ll be happy to help you look after your rental property, and your tenants.