Before you start renting out your property it is essential that you are aware of your legal obligations and responsibilities as a landlord.
Failure to comply with the relevant legislation could result in fines and/or imprisonment.
The duties and obligations listed below are not exhaustive and you are urged to seek independent legal advice for the full range of duties with which you must comply.
The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 stipulate what a landlord must do in relation to gas appliances, flues and pipework.
In brief, you must comply with the points below.
Arrange for a Gas Safe registered installer to annually certify that the gas appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use are safe and give a copy of the certificate to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and/or before any tenant occupies the property.
Keep a record of all gas safety checks for two years.
Maintain gas pipes, appliances and flues.
Before re-letting a property, make sure all gas appliances are safe – including those left behind by a previous tenant.
If using a managing agent, ensure the contract specifies whether the landlord or agent will arrange the gas maintenance and safety checks. N.B. As landlord, you have overall responsibility to meet your legal duties.
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Although not a legal requirement, installing a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm could save your tenants’ lives.
Depending on your circumstances you may be required to fit smoke resistant doors, fire extinguishers, smoke blankets and fire exits to protect your tenants.
You must comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
In summary, you must comply with the points below.
Ensure all electrical equipment and appliances are safe and free from defects.
Remove all unsafe electrical equipment and appliances.
Keep records of all electrical checks performed.
Plugs and Sockets
The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 require landlords to ensure that all plugs and sockets comply with appropriate safety standards and that the correct fuse is used.
Additionally, the Regulations state that the live and neutral pins on plugs must be part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets.
The above guidelines are not intended to be a comprehensive guide to your legal duties. For further information regarding your legal obligations you are advised to seek independent legal advice.
For further legal obligations please refer to Legal Know How for Landlords: A Landlord’s Legal Obligations Part 2.
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Find out more about landlord insurance from Direct Line for Business. View original article Legal Know How for Landlords: A Landlord’s Legal Obligations (Part One)