Safety and Legislation

Presenting your property to Let

Current Legislation

Safety Certificates and Regulations

The following regulations must be adhered to whilst your property is let with BNR Property Services. Once the first certificate is issued to us – if you have the full management service or rent collection service – we will ensure that the renewals are automatically carried out and you are informed of any works required or recommended. Even if we do not provide your full management or collection service, we will still advise you of the expiry date and ensure that we obtain a copy of your new certificates once updated.

 

The Furniture and Furnishings (fire) (safety) (amendment) Regulations 1993

It is an offence to leave any furniture in let properties which do not comply with the regulations. There are heavy penalties for landlords who do not comply, including six months’ imprisonment or a £5000.00 fine. The regulations apply to beds, mattresses, scatter cushions, children’s furniture, garden furniture, stretch or loose covers, sofas, settees, seat pads, headboards, pillows, futons, and bean bags. To comply the items must be fire resistant and be fitted with a permanent label to this effect. The regulations do not apply to any furniture made before 1950 (although in some uncertain cases proof of date of manufacture may have to be shown), sleeping bags, duvets, bed linen, curtains and carpets.

 

The Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998

These regulations stipulate that: There should be sufficient supply of air available for the proper combustion of any gas appliance in the property There should be adequate facilities for the removal of products of combustion. There should be adequate ventilation to enable any gas appliance to be used The Landlord must ensure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition at all times.

These checks must be carried out once a year by a gas safe registered Plumber. Records of all checks and works carried out should be kept and a current certificate should always be provided to the tenant. If any appliance does not meet with the regulations it will be disconnected. On the expiry of the certificate the renewal will automatically be ordered by BNR Lettings and Sales unless the Landlord instructs and arranges their own gas safe registered Plumber. A copy of the new certificate will be sent to you, with details of any action taken or works required presented from the gas safe registered Plumber.

It is a legal requirement to have any gas provided to the property tested, this requires service appliances and flues to be tested Annually.  Upon being issued with the Gas Safe Certificate from a qualified Gas Safe Engineer this must be provided to the Tenant renting the property.

 

The Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994

This regulation means that the Landlord has an obligation to the tenant to ensure that all electrics are safe. Whilst a visible check for frayed wiring and badly fitted plugs can be done easily, we ask that the Landlord has a Fixed Wire Test carried out every five years and a Portable Appliance Test for example anything with a plug fitted carried out every twelve months. All plugs fitted at the property should be of an approved type which is stamped to comply with BS1363 and fitted with an appropriate fuse. This action will reduce any liability the Landlord may have if the Tenant should suffer harm or your Insurance Company ask what preventative measure you have taken if a claim is presented to them.

 

Building Regulations 1991 and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations

When the Building Regulations (1991) came into effect it became a legal requirement for any property (built after June 1992) to have a smoke alarm fitted to each floor.

Additional new legislation was introduced in October 2015 as part of a wider effort to improve fire and Carbon Monoxide safety across the UK.

This now means that every landlord (with some very specific exceptions) now must take precautions to ensure that their tenants are adequately protected. Every rental property will require to have a minimum of a smoke detector fitted to each floor (dependant on the size of the floor) and Carbon Monoxide monitors installed throughout the premises in each room of a solid fuel appliance. The legislation will be enforced by local housing authorities and failure to comply can be costly as fines can be anything up to £5000. With our Managed properties we check these alarms are in working order quarterly and on the expiry of a tenancy.

 

Energy Performance Certificates

Since October 2008 all properties have been legally required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate. This must be carried out as soon as the property is being marketed, it must be made available to any tenant viewing the property and a copy must be given to all tenants who rent the property. Failure to provide a certificate is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine. An EPC will last for 10 years (subject to certain works being carried out which might make it out of date). Whilst the landlord is not legally obliged to carry out any of the works raised by the EPC there may be some recommendations which could genuinely benefit the property long term and in addition some of the expenditure could be offset against tax.  Any properties with the Grade of F and below do not meet the requirements for the property to be available for rent.  If your property is below grade E, you must complete rectifying works to bring the property to the standard E or above.

 

Legionella

Important changes came into effect as of the end of 2014 which means that Landlords are now responsible for the Health & Safety of tenants (and other visitors to their properties) with respect to risk from Legionnaires Disease.

The bacteria which cause the disease are known to exist within hot and cold-water systems such as those found in standard residential properties and their presence becomes more of a concern when they can thrive at temperatures between 20 and 45 degrees. Whilst legionella itself is not ‘poisonous’ it can be lethal if inhaled within droplets and therefore must be eliminated from any water which could potentially come in contact with people in the form of an aerosol.

It is now mandatory to carry out a basic risk assessment of the water systems within any building which is to be let, and this will include inspection and temperature testing of the cold-water storage tank, the hot water cylinder and all the outlets within the property such as taps, showerheads etc. Whilst there is no legal limit set for the frequency of this assessment and its subsequent review, we recommend it be carried out annually (in addition to an interim update if any changes have been made to the water systems within the property).

With our skills and knowledge, we can offer advice, assistance and even templates for the assessments should you wish to carry them out by yourself.

There are on-going maintenance tasks which will fall to the individual tenants to action and we will be making sure that anyone renting with BNR Lettings and Sales will be aware of their responsibilities.

We can arrange all the above certificates.