Safeguarding people and properties
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, an annual Gas Safety Check must be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. A copy of the gas safety certificate must be given to new Tenants before property occupation; a copy must be issued to each Tenant within 28 days of each annual check; and a record of each safety check must be kept for 2 years.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke Alarms are compulsory in all properties built since 1992 but it is strongly recommended that they, along with carbon monoxide detectors, are fitted in properties built before this. It is a legal requirement that they are checked to be in good working order prior to each new tenancy.
Furniture & Fire Safety Regulations
In line with Fire and Safety Regulations and the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Amendment Regulations 1993, all new and second hand furniture in rented properties must meet fire resistance requirements. These regulations apply to: beds, mattresses, sofas, pillows, loose and stretch covers etc. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. However, non-compliance is considered a criminal offence and can lead to a fine of up to £5000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months. Visit www.rla.org.uk for more information.
Landlords should check tumble dryers in their properties. Which? has advice about how to check whether a dryer is safe or not and also lists models that it knows to be affected by the safety alert.
Landlords are required by law to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances in a vented property are safe when Tenants move in and are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. This is in accordance with LACORS (www.rla.org.uk) Fire Safety Guidance. Please note for houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s) a higher level of safety check is required, your local
authority will be required to check the property.
Health and safety legislation requires that Landlords carry out risk assessments for the presence of Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Further advice is available from the Health & Safety Executive.
Since 2014, regulations have been in force relating to window blind ‘cords’. Vertical, Venetian, Roller, Roman and Austrian blinds must have operating cords with built in safety systems to prevent them forming a hazardous loop, even if there are no children present in the property.