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Landlords Should Comply With Responsibilities


Thursday, May 2, 2013

UK Landlords Unaware of Legal Obligations

Landlord’s Should Comply With Responsibilities

Landlord’s Should Comply With Responsibilities

There have been several reports in the national media recently about UK landlords facing prosecution for ignoring their legal responsibilities. The press reports suggest that new, accidental or reluctant landlords are not aware of their full rental property and tenant care responsibilities.

There are a number of aspects that all UK landlords must ensure are covered, including compliance with all Government legislation and local authority regulations regarding rental property in the UK private rental sector (PRS).

Landlords need to make sure they have the appropriate landlord insurance in place to protect the fabric of their rental property asset and should encourage tenants to take out their own Tenant Contents Insurance to protect personal belongings and valuable possessions.

Gas

All UK Landlords must carry out a gas safety check (Cp12) on a rental property’s boiler annually, using a Gas Safe Registered engineer, and for landlords who have recently installed a new boiler, the gas safety check must be completed within 12 months of the installation.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 require landlords to ensure their property’s overall gas network is well maintained including flues, appliances and all associated pipe-work which means regular annual maintenance checks.

Landlords must keep a record of Gas Safety checks for two years and tenants must be provided with a copy within 28 days of the inspection being done.

Electricity

All UK private rented sector rental properties must be fit for people to live in and electricity, as well as heating, gas, water and sanitation must be in good repair and proper working order, according to the Landlord Tenant Act 1985, if these services are not appropriately maintained and someone is injured within the rental property as a direct result, then the landlord can be liable for prosecution.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 say a UK rental property’s electrical appliances, circuits, cables, switches and fuse board must be safe but, unlike gas, no annual certificate is required.

It is a mandatory requirement that electrical installations within UK rental properties must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations for England and Wales (2005), and any major electrical work must be done by an approved Part P qualified electrical engineer or be approved by the local council’s building control department.

However, portable electrical equipment provided by the landlord (washing machine, fridge freezer, etc) must be checked annually, known as a ‘PAT’s testing (portable appliance testing).

HMO landlords are covered by the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 which state every installation within a property must be checked every five years.

Smoke Alarms

The Smoke Detectors Act 1991 says all residential properties constructed after 1992 must have smoke alarms provided on every dwelling level but there are no specific rules for UK PRS rented properties.

Landlords should ensure that their tenants are aware whose responsibility it is to maintain smoke alarms properly and encourage the tenant to conduct regular monthly/weekly checks to make sure the alarm is working correctly.

Furniture

Furniture and some soft furnishings in rental properties must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, and in particular the 1993 amendments that extended the Consumer Protect Act to cover buy to let properties.

All furniture, except if it’s antique, including stretched covers, cushions and pillows must comprise of fire resistant materials and must pass both match resistance and cigarette tests, as most new furniture sold in reputable shops will do these days. Landlords should beware of buying second hand furniture for their rental properties as it may not reach the required British safety standards.

Deposit Protection

Landlords signing up to Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements must place their tenant’s deposit with one of the five approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes in England and Wales within 14 days of receipt of the deposit.

At the end of a tenancy, if the tenant has adhered to all the terms of the tenancy agreement; paid their bills and rent on time and not damaged the rental property, then the deposit must be requested to be returned with ten days of the tenancy ending.


This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 1:45 pm. Filed under Buy To Let, Landlord News. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.