As a residential landlord, you have a variety of legal responsibilities. Your responsibilities include keeping rental properties safe and free from hazards, ensuring all supplied gas and electrical equipment is properly installed and maintained, complying with fire safety regulations, providing an Energy Performance Certificate and protecting tenants’ deposits.
Safe and Free from Hazards
Depending on the terms of the lease or tenancy agreement, most landlords in the UK are required to keep the property safe and free from hazards. This entails keeping the structure and exterior safe and in good working condition.
Landlords are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 2018 to make sure that all supplied gas appliances, fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition according to manufacturer’s instructions. Every 12 months, a gas safety check must be conducted by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer on each gas appliance, fitting or flue to ensure they are safe to use. Safety check records must be kept for at least 2 years and a copy must be given to existing tenants within 28 days of the check.
While there is no statutory requirement to conduct annual checks on electrical equipment and appliances, landlords are still required under Common Law and various acts and regulations (such as The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016) to keep supplied electrical equipment and systems safe for tenants. Most commercial residential let policies also require an electrical inspection to be carried out at the premises and an institute of electrical engineering certificate to be issued by a qualified electrician.
Fire Safety Regulations
Landlords must also comply with all fire safety regulations, including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England and Wales, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 in Scotland, and the Fire Safety (NI) Regulations 2010 in Northern Ireland. Fire risk assessments should be conducted and reviewed periodically. Smoke alarms should be fitted throughout the property.
If you supply furniture to your tenants, you must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989, 1993 and 2010). The Act sets fire resistance requirements for furniture, furnishings and upholstered products.
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