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Lettings Regulations Factsheet

Lettings Regulations Factsheet
  • As a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure your rental properties are safe and that your tenants are properly protected. There are a number of regulations designed to make certain that this is the case.

Whether you are new to letting, or you have been a landlord for some time, it is vital that you are fully aware of your obligations. The regulations surrounding private rentals can change at any time and failure to observe these rules can lead to a criminal conviction. Below is an outline of current regulations:*

Gas Safety

All residential landlords are required to ensure that all gas appliances and flues are safe. This rule aims to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. All rental properties must have:

  • A valid Gas Safety Record.
  • Approved appliances and pipework - Gas Safe Register are responsible for the registration of gas engineers.
  • An annual Gas Safety check - tenants must be provided with an appropriate Gas Safety record & the landlord must keep Gas Safety records for a minimum of 2 years.

Furniture and Furnishings

  • All furniture provided in a rental property must meet safety standards.
  • All furniture must have a permanent label clearly showing that they are fire resistant.

Furniture manufactured from March 1989 should comply with these regulations and will generally have a label showing compliance.

Electrical Equipment Safety

All electrical equipment supplied in a rental property must be safe to use.

  • Unlike gas appliances there is no legal requirement to have an annual safety check, however it is advisable to get appliances checked by an electrician.
  • Each item should be labelled showing it has been tested and the date of test.
  • Operating and safety instructions for all electrical equipment should be given to tenants.

Smoke Detectors

  • Properties built after June 1992 must have mains operated smoke detectors fitted on each floor.
  • Although there is no legislation requiring smoke detectors to be fitted in ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered the common law "duty of care" meaning that the landlord could be held liable should a fire cause injury where no smoke detectors are fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that landlords fit one smoke alarm on each floor.

Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)

Mandatory HMO licensing applies to all privately rented properties with 3 or more storeys occupied by five or more people who form two or more households.

If letting a HMO, landlords need to ensure that:

  • The property is occupied by a specified maximum number of occupants.
  • There are adequate amenities in place for the occupants e.g. kitchens and bathrooms.
  • The landlord has a valid license for letting HMO properties.

Countrywide Residential Lettings are able to provide further information on the rules and regulations surrounding safety and will also be able to arrange competitive gas and electrical tests.

*Current as of June 2009.

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