Advice for landlords

Legal and Safety Requirements

The above regulations were amended in 1993 and set new levels 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.

The regulations apply to; sofas, beds, bed-heads, childrens' 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).

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.

These regulations first came into effect 31st October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of landlords to ensure that ALL gas appliances and gas installation pipe work owned by them are checked for safety at least once a year by British Gas or a Gas Safe registered installer. In addition accurate records of the safety inspections and any work carried out must be kept. The current safety certificate must always be available for any tenant prior to them taking occupation of a property.

Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord. Under the regulations any appliance that does not conform can be disconnected.

The above regulations impose an obligation on a landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances left as part of a let property are safe. 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 we strongly recommend that all appliances are regularly checked and serviced.

The 1991 Building Regulations require that all properties built since June 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 they are in full working order.

If you have a mortgage you must obtain consent from your mortgage lender. If your interest in the property is leasehold your lease may require you to obtain consent from your landlord prior to sub letting.

Standard home owner insurance may well be invalidated when you let your property. Our branches can obtain quotations for specialist comprehensive insurance cover for let property, including rent and legal insurance.

It is a requirement for landlords to sign their own tenancy agreement. Therefore it is important that we are given clear instructions regarding the length of time the property will be available and that we have a contact address and telephone and fax number in order that the document may be forwarded for signature prior to any tenancy.

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