Safety Regulations
Essential Guide for Landlords

There are numerous safety regulations for rental property that a professional Landlord must be aware of and comply with.  Failure to comply with these legislations can make Landlords liable to financial prosecutions, financial penalties and imprisonment. Ignorance of the law or Regulations is NO defence in a prosecution case.

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Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
These Regulations came into force in 1998. The Regulations are made under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974. The purpose of the Regulation is to ensure that appliances and fittings are fitted safely and check every 12 months.

The Regulations apply to all gas appliances owned by the Landlord or any pipe work which directly or indirectly services the premises or rental property.

What are the Regulations?

  1. All Landlords must ensure maintenance of all gas fittings and flues in a safe condition.
  2. Landlords must ensure that suitable qualified CORGI registered installers carry out inspections and repairs undertaken.
  3. Each appliance and flue must be checked for safety within 12 months of installation and at intervals of not less than 12 months of the first safety check. (Best practice is to check all properties prior to the first letting, even if newly built).
  4. Tenants at the property must be given a copy of the Gas Safety Inspection certificate or record within 28 days of the inspection, or new tenants with 28 days of taking up residence.
  5. Records must be kept for 2 years by the Landlord or letting agent, from the date of each safety check, including:
  • Address of premises inspected
  • Date of inspection
  • Name and address of Landlord or Letting Agent
  • Name and signature of person carrying out inspection
  • Inspector’s or their employer’s CORGI registration number
  • Description and location of each appliance
  • Nature of any defect discovered, the remedial actions taken
  • Statement that person carrying out safety check examined the effectiveness of any flue; supply of combustion air; operating pressure or heat input or both; safe functioning of any appliance


The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1993
These Regulations came into force on first March 1993. All furniture to comply with the Regulations must have a permanent label clearly showing that they are fire resistant.
Failure to comply can incur penalties of up to a five thousand pounds and or 6 months imprisonment. Letting Agents should refuse to let the where furniture does not comply with the Regulations.

What furniture should comply?
These Regulations apply to any upholstered furniture intended to be used in dwellings. These include:

  • Three-piece suites, armchairs, sofas
  • Sofa-beds, futons, and other convertible furniture
  • Beds, head-boards, divans, mattress, bed bases
  • Nursery and children’s furniture
  • Covers for furniture
  • Scatter cushions and seat pads
  • Pillows
  • Garden furniture that can be used in dwellings

Regulations do not apply to:

  • Bed clothes including duvet
  • Loose covers on mattress
  • Furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950

Landlords and Letting Agents are advised to carry out checks, record them, to ensure that the safety labels are present on the furniture in the dwellings to be let. If any furniture does not comply to the Regulations above they should be removed completely from the premises.


Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These Regulations came into force 9th January 1995 and apply to electrical appliances between 50 and 1000 volts.

The appliances supplied must be safe and the best way to establish this that is for a competent qualified electrician inspects the appliances. This test is commonly known as a Portable Appliance Test.

Each item should be labelled showing that it has been tested, date of test. Records of the appliances make and serial number, Electrician name and registration number.

Penalties can be fines up to five thousand pounds or 3 months imprisonment if a property is damaged or an animal is injured or killed, but if it is a human the penalty may be up to 12 months imprisonment.

Plugs and Sockets Regulations S.I. 1994/1768
These Regulations came into force in February 1995. The requirements are:

  •  Any plug on electrical appliances must be an approved type conforming to BS1363
  • The plug must have a correct fused rating for the appliance to which it is connected
  • Mains appliances must be supplied fitted with an appropriately fixed and fitted plug
  • Sockets must be safe. Consider using a competent qualified Electrician to inspect them.


Smoke Detection Act 1991

The Smoke Detection Act 1991 made it compulsory to have a mains-powered smoke detector fitted on each floor in new residential buildings.

The position is unclear as to how this would affect single occupancy dwellings and Landlords would be advised to take further professional advice. If alarms are fitted:

  • Alarms should conform to BS5446 Part 1</LI><BR>
  • The Tenancy Agreement should state the Tenant is responsible for the alarm maintenance and for replacing the batteries. Tenants should be made liable if they damage or remove the alarm and there is a subsequent fire at the property.
  • Alarms should be checked on Inspection visits and all relevant information noted on the reports. All defects to be rectified.
  • Record that the alarms have been tested at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
  • If the property is classified as a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) Landlords should check with the appropriate Environmental Health Department to establish their particular requirements.


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