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Safety Advice and Legislation

Safety Advice and Legislation

Landlords Right To Let

If you have a mortgage on your property you will need to speak with your mortgage lender before letting your property. You should also ensure you have all necessary insurances.

Gas Safety Inspections

As a landlord you should be aware that you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Your legal duties apply to a wide range of accommodation occupied under a lease or licence, including (but not limited to):

Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, co-operatives, hostels.

Rooms, let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels.

Rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outline the duties of landlords to ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys/flues provided for tenants are safe.

There is more information on your legal responsibilities on the Gas Safe Register website – Click Here

Smoke Alarms / Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

There is more info on your responsibilities as a landlord on the .gov website – Click Here

Electrical Safety

Dangerous electrics can contribute to a serious risk of fire, extreme cold, and insufficient lighting. As such, landlords who do not check the property may face enforcement action such as an improvement notice under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, endangering their section 21 notices.

In addition, from March 20th 2019, if the property becomes uninhabitable or is rented in a state considered unfit for human habitation then the landlord may be sued for breach of contract by their tenants.

There is more information on the .gov website – Click Here

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales. This means that, from April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

These requirements will apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales, even where there has been no change in tenancy arrangements:

from 1 April 2020 for domestic properties
from 1 April 2023 for non-domestic properties

There is more information on the .gov website – Click Here

Legionella

Legionella is a serious pathogenic disease – the bacteria are widespread in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds but conditions are rare to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the decease more often occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth but not hot enough to kill off the bacteria.

There is advice and guidance for landlords on the Health and Safety Executive website on legionella – Click Here

Blind Cord Safety

Following consultations and in conjunction with the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA), RoSPA, British Standards Institute (BSI), the UK Government and the EU introduced stringent new standards governing the manufacture, selling and installation of new blinds in 2014.

There is advice on the RoSPA website – Click Here

Condensation

Condensation can be a problem that causes black mould on Walls, furniture and clothes. It is usually more apparent in older style properties but can also occur in modern properties where ventilation is restricted.

Condensation is created by the way in which a tenant lives in a property – but it is made worse if there is penetrating or rising damp.

Some ways of helping to reduce the mould becoming a problem in your property are: –

  • Dry any washing outside, or make sure your windows are open if you have no other option.
  • Ventilate the cooking area during and after meal making.
  • Use extractor fans and open the window in the bathroom after taking a bath or showering.
  • If a shower curtain is fitted change it regularly and avoid one which is made from vinyl as the material harbours water and creates mould.
Dabell and Co Isle of Wight Letting Agents
Dabell & Co are Isle of Wight Letting Agents managing residential lettings and holiday lets on the Isle of Wight.