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Landlords - Letting and Safety Requirements

Tenancy Agreement

We will prepare the tenancy agreement on your behalf therefore it is important that we are given clear instructions regarding the availability of the property prior to it being let.

Insurance

It is essential that you notify your insurance company in writing of your intention to let.

Consent to letting

If you have a mortgage you must obtain consent from your mortgage lender.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994

These regulations came into effect on 31 October 1994 to ensure that all gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. As from 31 October 1994 it became law for all ‘Gas Appliances’ and ‘Gas Installation Pipework’ in rented property to be checked and serviced annually by British Gas or a member of the Council for Registered Gas Installers (C.O.R.G.I.) and that accurate records are kept of these safety inspections and any work carried out. These records must be made available on request for inspection by any tenant. Copies of all records must be submitted to Premier Lettings.
‘Gas Appliances’ includes any fitted gas appliance, for example
  • Central heating systems
  • Gas heaters
  • Gas fires
  • Gas water heaters
  • Gas cookers
‘Gas Installation Pipework’ includes gas pipework valves, regulators and meters.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

These regulations ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure that ALL gas appliances and gas installation pipework owned by them are checked for safety at least once a year by British Gas or a member of the Council of Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). In addition accurate records of the safety inspections and any work carried out must be kept The current safety record must always be available for any tenant prior to them taking occupation of a property.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

The above regulations were amended in 1993 and set a new level of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is an offence to 'supply' in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential property to be let

These regulations apply to: sofas, beds, bed heads, children's furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture or other similar items. The regulations do not apply to: curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets and mattress covers).

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

The above regulations were amended in 1993 and have set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is now an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of a business any furniture that does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential let property. The regulations apply to sofas, beds, bed heads, children’s furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture and other similar items. The regulations do not apply to curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets) and mattress covers.

Noted below is a summary of the implications of the above regulations and should be read in conjunction with the official guide from the DTI.
  • All property let for the first time since 1 March 1993 must contain furniture that complies with the new regulations.
  • Property let prior to 1 March 1993 may continue to be let with the same non-complying furniture until 31 December 1996 – whether or not the same tenant is in occupation.
  • Any additional or replacement furniture supplied since 1 March 1993 must comply with the regulations.
  • All furniture manufactured before 1 January 1950 is not covered by the regulations, as defective inflammable materials were not used prior to that date.
Any furniture manufactured after March 1990 is likely to comply but if the appropriate labels are not on the furniture, compliance is in doubt and checks should be made with the manufacturer.

The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1989
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

These regulations impose an obligation on the Landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances left as part of a let property are tested for earthing, insulation and leakages. Cabling, fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary to the correct rating for that particular appliance. Other legislation covering electrical installations is currently in force and in order to avoid prosecution we recommend that all electrical appliances in let property are regularly checked and serviced. Landlords must consider the following action prior to letting:
  • Check all electrical appliances for defects (eg. frayed wiring, badly fitted plugs, etc.)
  • Remove unsafe electric items
  • Have appliances checked by a qualified electrical engineer.
  • Ensure that instruction booklets are available at the property for all appliances and that any necessary safety warnings are given to tenants.

The Building Regulations 1991 – Smoke Alarms

The 1991 Building Regulations require that all properties built since 1992 must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms on each floor. Such regulations regarding older properties do not exist but we strongly recommend that smoke alarms are fitted in all let properties and are regularly checked to ensure that they are in full working order. The alarms should be strategically placed in the property with a minimum of one on each floor.

Smoke Alarms — Housing (Scotland) Act 2004

Since September '07 the above act requires adequate provision for the detection of fire. Where battery powered detectors are in place, they must comply with BS5839 Part 6: Otherwise a mains powered interlinked smoke detector system must be fitted.

Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008

Under the regulations, a prospective tenant is entitled to be supplied with an EPC as soon as they request information about a property. The new regulations designate every local authority as an enforcement authority. The EPC, unlike a Gas Safety Certificate which is an annual check, will have a shelf life of 10 years.

Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 – Landlord Registration

From 30th April 2006, it is a legal requirement for all private landlords letting properties in Scotland to have applied for registration in the Register of Landlords. Registration is meant to ensure that all private landlords in Scotland are 'fit and proper' to be letting residential property. You must register with each local authority area in which you let property.

Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 – Repairing Standard

The Repairing Standard places more strict regulation on landlords to ensure that the property is in reasonable repair and proper working order. The Private Rented Housing Panel has been established where aggrieved tenants can take complaints and they can force Landlords to make any repairs required.

Failure to comply with regulations may jeopardise the life of a Tenant and lead to prosecution with penalties of up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5000. Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing for a landlord.

Income Tax — UK Resident & Non-Resident Landlords

Income tax is payable on rental income irrespective of where you live. Landlords must declare this income on a Self­Assessment Tax Return and if one is not issued automatically he or she has a legal responsibility to notify Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of any liability. As HMRC assesses your income individually, properties that are jointly owned require returns to be completed by each legal owner.