The three main areas of concern for safety of the tenant are gas, fire & furnishings and electrical. We at Belvoir Property Management always check that the houses we take on to let to tenants are safe in these respects.
The Gas Safety Regulations came into force on 31st October 1994. The most relevant parts of the regulations as far as the landlord is concerned are:
1. There must be sufficient supply of air available for proper combustion of the gas appliance.
2. There must be adequate facilities for the removal of products of combustion.
3. There must be adequate ventilation to enable the appliance to be safely used.
4. All gas appliances must be in a condition, which allows their safe use and eliminates risk of escaping gas.
From as little as £45 depending on how many gas appliances you have in your property a Corgi Registered gas tradesman will come and check for safety. In many instances he will find no problems and issue a Gas Safety Certificate (this is an annual check for a rented property). Sometimes this check can reveal potentially lethal problems, (for example a birds nest blocking the ventilation area). Something simple and easily rectified could prove dangerous. A gas safety check must be done before a tenancy can commence.
Fire & Furnishings
The government first introduced regulations in 1988 requiring filling materials used in furniture, furnishings and reupholstered items to be fire resistant; these were amended in 1989 and 1993. The main areas being
1. Upholstered articles must have fire resistant filling material
2. Cover fabric must be match resistant tested, or if of certain kinds (such as cotton or silk) be used with a fire resistant interliner; and
3. The combination of the cover fabric and filling material must be cigarette resistant
4. In most cases furniture will carry a permanent label to this effect.
Any furniture, which does not comply with the regulations, must be removed from the property prior to the tenancy. These regulations came into force in response to the concern over the number of deaths and injuries in house fires starting in upholstered furniture and furnishings.
The following acts, The Electrical Equipment (Safety) regulations 1994, Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 11 cover electrical fittings and appliances. This legislation can cause confusion for landlords in deciding how they are affected, as perhaps they are not as clear in regard to rented properties as either the Gas or Fire & Furnishings regulations. Briefly they state that all electrical appliances must be safe, including appliances supplied with let accommodation. Obviously this implies that a qualified person should carry out a check prior to the tenancy. At Belvoir we run a programme of comprehensive electrical checks using a qualified electrician and have a report issued for each property. If any remedial work/action is required we provide our landlords with a written quote for their attention.
Awareness of issues of safety are increasing. If you are a Landlord with a property to let and would like a FREE no obligation visit to discuss rental issues and a market appraisal of your property please call Belvoir! Milton Keynes on 01908 562582 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org