Legislation 16 / 17

Advice for Landlords

If you are a landlord letting a property, you have a legal obligation to make sure the property is safe. There are some should do’s and must do’s. Legislation will determine the must do’s. The landlord will ultimately be held responsible for the safety of tenants. It is our job to advice you and arrange for certificates to be issued at the appropriate time.

G.S.C – Gas Safety Certificate
Gas Safety Certificate is a legal requirement. The property must have the boiler, heating system and any gas appliances checked and certified every 12 months.

E.P.C – Energy Performance Certificate
Energy Performance Certificate is a legal requirement. The property must have this certificate prior to a let and must be renewed every 10 years.

There are several legislations which relate to supply and maintenance of electrical equipment. This includes household appliances, plugs and sockets which connect them. Legislation dictates that a landlord has an obligation to ensure any such items supplied are safe. This could be extended to the mains supply and fuse box. Whilst there is not at present a specific statutory requirement, we have taken advice from ARLA & the Department for communities and local government, from this information, it is clear that it is the responsibility of a landlord to prove that these items are safe and regularly checked. Therefore we will carry out NIC Periodic inspections on all our properties every 5 years.

Furniture and Furnishing
From the 1st January 1997 any furniture supplied for a letting which commenced after 1st March 1993 must comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993). The regulation requires that the cover fabric and filling material must be made of fire resistant material and carry a label to show this. Generally, items manufactured in the UK after 1990 are likely to meet the required standards.

Smoke Detectors
All new homes built since June 1992 must have mains operated smoke detectors on each floor. There are no specific regulations relating to smoke detectors in older buildings, however we strongly recommend and advice that battery operated smoke detectors must be fitted to stairways and halls on each floor.

Carbon monoxide alarms Act
Carbon monoxide detectors should be provided in all properties where a gas or solid fuel appliance is present. Detectors must comply with current British Standards and be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. The fitting of carbon monoxide detectors is mandatory when a new solid fuel burning appliance is installed.

This is a very important document that provides you with a written statement that you will need to rely on. The Inventory/ Schedule of Condition detail the fittings, fixtures and describe their condition and that of the property in general. The landlord will meet the cost of preparing the Inventory. There will be a professional check in and check out at the end of the tenancy, when this Inventory will be used. Such costs are a necessary investment that helps protect both Landlord and Tenant in the event there may be a potential dispute at the end of the tenancy. The absence of a professionally produced inventory and check in and out report would undoubtedly weaken your position, in the event of a dispute.

Deposit Protection Services
Since April 1997 this legislation came in to effect. No landlord or Agent can hold a tenant’s deposit without it being protected in a Deposit Scheme. We use TDPS, The Deposit Protection Service. The deposit in full is sent to the TDPS and a certificate is issued for the Landlord/Agent and the Tenant. At the end of the Tenancy the Landlord/Agent and the tenant agree on the return allocations, and then the TDPS will return the deposit as agreed.

HMO – House of Multiple Occupancy
Previously, HMO licenses only applied to homes where there are 5 or more people, forming two or more households in one property, with shared amenities such as a bathroom and kitchen over three levels; however in April 2010 the new Class C4 was introduced, covering any rental home with three to six unrelated tenants, who share common facilities.

HMO’s are quite complex, and the difference between each council can be rather confusing.  Please contact the office should you require further detailed information on HMO.

Call NOW on 01223 414400, or contact us by email to arrange a viewing.

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