This is really the time for private landlords to buckle up and be more pro active in ensuring the safety of tenants in their property. Estimates say that so many deaths and accidents take place every year as a result of unsafe electrical equipments in households. If it is happening elsewhere it is bound to happen at any one’s property.
From a legal point of view also a residential landlord has to take the health and safety issues of the tenants very seriously. There is the mandate for Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to inspect a property for health and safety hazards.
A landlord wishing to rent a property, has to ensure that the property is periodically inspected and poses no hazards to endanger the tenants. All regulations pertaining to
- Gas Safety
- Electrical safety
- Fire regulations
- Energy performance certificates need to be up to date.
Gas installation safety
If a rented property is connected to a main gas supply there must be an annual maintenance check of the gas pipes, appliances and flues by an engineer registered with the Gas Safety Register. The records have to be updated and a copy of the latest gas safety inspection certificate must be given to the tenant.
Electrical installation safety
• There must be regular inspections of fixed electrical installations at least once in five years including sockets and light fittings.
• The landlords should provide a qualified electrician to carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) safety test on all the portable electrical equipments meant for use by tenants. This includes all appliances including toasters and kettles.
In case of a fire break out ensure there must be a fire escape route from the property. It must be pre-planned. This applies to all landlords even those who may be advertising a property to rent online and not found tenants.
The provision for fire alarms and extinguishers depends on the size of property.
- There must be strict adherence to all fire-resistant furniture regulations if a landlord is offering furnished accommodation to tenants.
- The Furniture manufacturers have to label their fire-resistant products accordingly.
- There must be fire blankets for the kitchen area.
Energy Performance Certificates
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is mandatory for rented properties in order to rate the energy efficiency of a property to assess how much heat is being lost through the roof.