Book a Property Valuation
Sales: 020 3869 9381 | Lettings: 020 3869 9384 | Park Lane Associated Office: 020 7318 7068

Health & Safety For Landlords

 

Gas Safety

Under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 there is a legal requirement that all gas appliances are checked and certified every year by a Gas Safe Register engineer. A record of this must be kept and a copy provided to the tenant. Because this regulation is so important we must receive a copy of this certificate at least 48 hours before the agreed occupancy date or we will instruct an inspection to be carried out by one of our approved contractors. If you require, we can arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to carry out the checks and issue a certificate for you (please ask for details).

 

Electricity Safety

As a landlord you have a legal duty to ensure all electrical appliances are safe. Obtaining an Electrical Equipment Safety Certificate (EESC) is not currently a legal requirement. However you will be legally liable if your tenant suffers injury or is put at risk because of faulty electrical goods or wiring so we recommend that all landlords obtain such certificates. A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) is suitable for most properties. Humphriss & Ryde Estate Agents can arrange for this check to be carried out on your behalf (please ask for details).

 

letting-agents-bromley-tenancy-deposit-protectionnew

 

 

 

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The Department of the Environment have regulations governing the installation of smoke detectors in new-build homes and these were incorporated in the Building Regulations 1991. These state that all new-build homes must be fitted with interlinked mains operated smoke detectors, one on each floor. There are no such regulations governing older properties but all Fire and Safety Officers would advise the installation of at least battery operated devices, if not mains operated ones.

We therefore strongly recommend that all landlords of pre-1992 properties agree to the installation of smoke alarms in their property. This may also be a requirement under the terms of your building insurance policy.

It is also advisable to install audible carbon monoxide detectors which comply with British Standard BS7860 in the property. We recommend one alarm for each room that contains a gas appliance. If you already have smoke or Carbon monoxide equipment installed in your property, you will still need to verify that the equipment expiry date is still valid and it would be good practice to replace the battery at the same time.

All equipment must be tested at the commencement of a Tenancy, It is then the Tenants responsibility to regularly test the equipment during their Tenancy to confirm that the equipment remains in good working order. In addition, we also are recommending that a Heat Detector is fitted in the kitchen to give early warning of cooker fires.

 

 

heating-and-cooling-systemnew
gas-safetynew

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture and Fittings Safety

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, plus amendments, makes it a criminal offence to let a property with upholstered items that do not comply with the safety regulations. The regulations apply to beds, mattresses, sofas, cushions and other soft furniture. These must all carry a label showing fire resistance. Any non-compliant furniture must be removed from your property before letting. We are able to check any furniture being left at your property to confirm if this furniture complies with the regulations or not. (Please ask for details).

 

Energy Performance Certificate

From 1st October 2008, all rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC will rate the energy efficiency of a property and its environmental impact. The EPC survey must be completed prior to marketing a property, and a tenant is required to receive a copy of the report before entering into a Tenancy agreement. An EPC is usually valid for 10 years.

 

 

 

smoke-alarmnew

 

 

Legionella

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella.

All man-made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow. Where conditions are favourable (i.e. suitable growth temperature range; water droplets (aerosols) produced and dispersed; water stored and/or recirculated; some ‘food’ for the organism to grow such as rust, sludge, scale, biofilm etc.) then the bacteria may multiply thus increasing the risk of exposure.

It is a simple fact that the organism will colonise both large and small systems so both require risks to be managed effectively.

The law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants’ with regard to their health and safety.

The general duties require under section 3(2) that “It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”.

Landlords, under Section 53 of HSWA are regarded as being self-employed and tenants fall into the class of “other persons (not being his employees)”.

If you rent out a property, you have legal responsibilities to ensure you conduct your undertaking in such a way that your tenant(s) are not exposed to health and safety risks – therefore we recommend that, to comply with these obligations, you should have a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out. We are able to introduce you to a company who are trained to carry out these assessments.

 

 

 

Tax Advice

We advise all landlords to enquire with their accountant or the local tax office to ascertain the implications in letting property. If you are going to be living abroad and instructing us to collect the rent on your behalf, we will advise you that you need to complete an NRL1 form online and submit it to the tax office. The tax office will then write to us confirming that we do not need to deduct tax from the rental income. Without this, any non-resident landlord would expect the agent to deduct tax from the rent at 22% and hold this money back for the Inland Revenue and submit the funds to HMRC on a quarterly basis.
 

Property Insurance

As a Landlord, you are responsible for insuring your property. You need to make sure that the buildings and contents insurance company are aware that the property is being let to a third party (it is not sufficient just to continue paying a premium for insurance if you were previously in residence).

We recommend that you should shop around for different quotes as this is a specialist area of insurance and prices/policies will vary from one company to the next. You may also wish to consider Legal/Rent Protection insurance to cover instances during a tenancy that require specialist legal assistance to resolve particular problems.
 

Are You Thinking of Renting Property in the Bromley Area?

If you have property, house or flat, in Bromley, Orpington, Chislehurst, Petts Woood, Bickley, Keston or surrounding areas, and are thinking of renting it out, or you are landlord with a property or properties in those areas, and are looking for a letting agent, Humphriss & Ryde are here to assist you. Please call or letting's team on 020 3869 9384 and they will be more than happy to answer any questions.