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?
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:
Regulations do not apply to:
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:
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: