Things You Need to Know

As a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure your property is fit for purpose and it complies with all the latest legislation.

This page is designed to give an overview of your requirements and give you a reference on where to look for more information.

The landlord responsibilities cover four main areas:

  • Electrical safety
  • Gas safety
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Building regulations

Further information can be found on the following website - www.communities.gov.uk

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

Electrical supply and appliances within a property must be deemed as ‘safe’. All electrical appliances within the property must be checked at regular intervals for defects by qualified electrical engineer.

It is essential that any unsafe electrical items be removed from the property prior to offering it for rent. No statutory checking procedure or timescale exists dictating how regular the electrical items are checked but we recommend the appliances have an annual inspection as well as an annual electrical supply safety check, again by a qualified electrical engineer.

You should keep a record of all safety checks conducted noting dates and any recommendation and these should be stored and available for inspection when necessary.

We also advise smoke alarms are fitted to all let properties and should also be regularly checked to ensure they are in full working order.

The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

This regulation was amended in 1993 and it is an offence for a landlord to install or make available any furniture in a property which is available to let and does not comply with the regulations.

The regulations covers beds, mattresses, headboards, scatter cushions, pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture, children’s furniture, garden furniture. Any items of similar type fillings must carry the appropriate labels of compliance.

All upholstered furniture must have fire resistant filling material and must pass a cigarette resistance test. Permanent covers must also pass a match resistance test.

Furniture in any property, which qualifies for the transitional period (e.g. was let prior to 1st March 1993 and continued to be let), does not have to comply until the tenant who occupied the property prior to 1st January 1997, vacates it.

Any furniture which has been added to the property since 1st March 1993 must comply with these requirements whether new or second-hand.

The regulations do not apply to:

  • Antique furniture or any made before 1st January 1950
  • Bedclothes (including duvets and pillowcases)
  • Loose covers for mattresses, curtains
  • Carpets, sleeping bags, cushion covers

Building Regulations - Part "P" Electrical Safety in Dwellings

The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 gives Landlords the responsibility to ensure the Building image electrical installation in the property is safe on commencement of the tenancy, and is maintained in a safe condition throughout that tenancy.

From 1st January 2005, all domestic electric installation work (particularly in kitchens and bathrooms) must be completed by a Government “Approved” contractor. In addition, all electrical engineers will have to verify the work completed complies with British Standard Safety Requirements (BS7671). Should a landlord fail to comply with these regulations it is a criminal offence and could incur fines of up to £5,000 and/or be imprisoned.

At Russell Cope our professional team can help you through this legislation, however, ultimately it is your responsibility. We have a panel of excellent contractors who carry out our property maintenance and are all specialists in their chosen field.

Rest assured our local knowledgeable staff can help you every step of the way to help you rent your property. For more information on how we can help, call one of our local property experts on 02476 314601.