Legal and Financial Legislation

To ensure that :

If you let a property equipped with gas appliances, you have three main responsibilities:

  1. Maintenance: pipework, appliances and chimney/flues need to be maintained safely. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the frequency given in the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, you should ask a Gas Safe registered engineer to service them annually.
  2. Gas safety checks: An annual gas safety check should be carried out on each gas appliance/flue. This will ensure gas appliances and fittings are safe to use. There is a legal requirement on you to have all gas appliances safety checked by a registered engineer annually and you also need to maintain gas pipework and flues in a safe condition. This is UK law.
  3. Record: Gas Safety Record should be provided to your existing tenants within 28 days of completion, or to new tenants upon the start of their tenancy. If the rental period is less than 28 days at a time you may display a copy of the record in a prominent position within the dwelling. You’ll need to keep copies of the record for at least 2 years.

Electricity is an important part of normal life and will be present in every property that you rent out to tenants. Despite its familiarity, however, electricity has the potential to cause serious injuries, fires and damage to property and possessions if it’s not maintained safely.

As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that the electrical installations and appliances within your rental properties are safe to use.

Most electrical accidents occur due to faulty systems and appliances (such as broken plugs, damaged wires and deteriorated equipment) or as a result of the misuse of systems and appliances. Many other accidents occur during electrical maintenance, particularly when the person carrying out the work is unaware of the hazards.

No matter the cause behind them, electrical accidents can very easily result in electric shocks, burns or fires – all of which are potentially life-threatening for the recipient.

Under the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, landlords must ensure that the water, gas, sanitation and electricity installations within their properties are kept in good repair and in proper working order.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An EPC is similar to the energy performance certificates now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.

The EPC provides a rating for the energy performance of a home from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.

The EPC shows two things about the house:

• the energy efficiency rating (this is based on how much the home would cost to run)

• the environmental impact rating (this is based on how much carbon dioxide is released into the environment because of the home).

The rating is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one home easily with another. The typical rating for a home is D or E.

The certificate also provides information about how much it is likely to cost the tenant to run the home. These estimated costs are based on:

  1. standard assumptions about a property which include the number of occupants and how long it is heated a day
  2. average fuel prices when the EPC was produced – these could be up to 10 years old.The actual running costs will vary depending on the current fuel costs and the lifestyle of the tenants.

Furniture that complies with the regulation should display a permanent label – this label should be displayed on both new and second hand furniture; examples of labels can be found below. Landlords should only purchase furniture and furnishings that carry a permanent label and/or ensure that the furniture complies with BS7177.  If a Landlord is unsure, they should contact their local trading standards department for advice.

Should a label become detached from the furniture it is recommended that the Landlord retains it in a safe place, to ensure that they can prove the furniture complies with the regulation.  It may be prudent to retain receipts proving purchase of the furniture or furnishings.

As of 1 October 2015, it has been a legal requirement that all rental properties in England must adhere to Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Regulations.

The regulations require at least one smoke alarm to be installed on every floor of the property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm installed in any room which contains a solid fuel burning appliance (such as wood burner, coal fire or biomass).

Checks must be made by the landlord (or letting agent) to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of the tenancy.

It is necessary for landlord’s to check and keep record of the relevant documents for all adults occupants in the property to ensure they have a right to rent in the U.K.



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