Gas safety (installation and use) Regulations 1994
It is a legal requirement that Landlords of rented properties must have all gas appliances in their properties checked out on an annual basis. The tenant must receive a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate when they occupy the property. All gas work has to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered contractor and it is an offence to carry out work on gas installations if you are not Gas Safe registered. If you have a service contract with British Gas or another qualified company then you will have an annual service and inspection carried out. They will not automatically provide a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate; this must be requested as a separate item. We can arrange for a contractor to visit the property prior to the first letting and check all appliances. Thereafter, inspections/ services can be carried out annually.
Fire and Furnishings (Fire safety amendment) Regulations 1993
It is an offence to supply furniture which does not comply with the Fire Resistance Requirements contained in Regulation 14 of the 1988 regulations. The regulations state that it is an offence to supply in the course of business any furniture to which the regulations apply, unless that furniture meets what is known as the ‘cigarette test’, ‘the match test’ and also the ‘ignitability test’. The Regulations apply to all upholstery and upholstered furnishing, loose fittings, permanent or loose covers.
Please note it is an offence to supply furniture that does not comply. This means that you cannot give furniture or sell furniture to a tenant as this would be deemed to be supplying. If furniture does not comply it must be removed from the property.
Furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950 is excluded from the regulations; this is because the defective materials were not in use prior to 1950 and this exempts ‘period’ or ‘antique’ furniture. Failure to comply with these regulations carries a penalty of 6 months imprisonment, or a fine on what is known as level 5 maximum, currently £5000 or both.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
In the event of a tenant having an accident are you able to prove that your property, including all appliances was safe to let? In the UK during 2002, according to RoSPA there were over 11,000 injuries due to accidents in the home related to electrical wiring and appliances.
ONE Safety Inspection Engineer in ONE year found:
- Trip switches not tripping when they should or fast enough to comply with the regulations
- Plugs drawing too much current and over heating/ burning
- Electric hobs rusted through, so that every time a pot boils over water could go straight to the electrics
- Showers where the light on/ off pull cord is within arms-reach of the shower
- Breached seals on the shower box so water can get into the electrics
- Double wall sockets wired up the wrong way round, appliances may be live
- Sockets not earthed
Even brand new properties sometimes infringe the regulations e.g. kitchen sockets found within arms-reach of the sink.
Failure to meet these requirements can lead to a £5000 fine, imprisonment or both. In extreme cases of negligence by a landlord you could also be facing manslaughter charges.
You may be told it is not a legal requirement to have your electrics tested for safety, this is misleading as you have a duty of care and legal requirement to provide a property which is safe.
The only way to be certain your property is SAFE and LEGAL is to have a Periodic Inspection and a Portable Appliance Test.