Safety Regulations & Legislation

It is important that safety regulations and advice are considered carefully

The following information is intended only as a guide for landlords and should in no way constitute a detailed interpretation of the complete Regulations particularly as they may be updated from time to time.

Whilst the Regulations might appear onerous, they are designed to ensure the safety of the property and tenants. Landlords should note that the maximum penalty for noncompliance with some of these regulations is a fine of £5,000 or six months imprisonment.

These cover all gas appliances, flues, meters and associated pipe work and require landlords to arrange an inspection, carried out by a 'Gas Safe' registered engineer to check all gas installations. Once the engineer is satisfied that the installations fulfil all requirements a Gas Safety Certificate will be issued. A copy must be held by us and given to the tenant before they move in. This certificate must be renewed once a year.

Symonds & Sampson normally arrange the first inspection and, if we are instructed to manage the property, subsequent inspections thereafter. It is worth arranging the inspection before a tenant is found to avoid delaying the start of the tenancy. A breach of this regulation will result in heavy fines or even imprisonment so tenants are not allowed to occupy a property without a certificate. Landlords are also responsible for ensuring that either the operating instructions are shown on the appliance or that an instruction booklet is supplied.

This act covers all upholstery and upholstered furniture supplied by the landlord in a rented property, including beds, footstools, pillows, headboards, mattresses, cushions, sofa beds, futons etc. New compliant furniture will always carry the correct label indicating that it is legal.

These regulations apply to all persons who let accommodation containing electrical equipment. The electrical installation at a property and any electrical appliance should be safe, regularly checked, and work should only be carried out by a qualified electrical engineer.

The landlord is also responsible for ensuring that either the operating instructions are shown on the appliance or that an instruction booklet is supplied.

Failure to comply with these Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

All new homes (built after June 1992) must be fitted with main operated smoke detectors. There are no specific regulations governing older buildings but Symonds & Sampson strongly recommend that at least one smoke alarm is fitted to each floor of your property.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) have been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings. An EPC is now required by law when a building is constructed, sold or advertised for rent. It gives home owners, tenants and buyers information on the energy efficiency of the property

Part of the EPC is a recommendation report which will list the potential rating that your home could achieve if you made changes. The report lists improvements that you could carry out and how this would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property.

You do not currently have to act on the recommendations of the report. However, from 2016 you must do so if a tenant requests it and, from 2018, you will not generally be able to let a property with an EPC rating lower than E.

Landlords by law must provide an EPC to all prospective tenants.

If you are aware of a matter requiring urgent attention, contact us at the earliest opportunity and we will arrange for contractors to attend. You have a responsibility as a tenant to report any problems promptly to avoid the increase in any cost of repair.

It is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that Symonds & Sampson are informed of any asbestos fixtures and fittings within the property or any outbuildings included in the tenancy agreement. This ensures that contractors are properly instructed.

It is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that Symonds & Sampson are informed of any asbestos fixtures and fittings within the property or any outbuildings included in the tenancy agreement. This ensures that contractors are properly instructed.

Following a high profile case in 2007, the Health & Safety Executive have raised a safety alert to all homeowners, tenants, landlords and the plumbing industry. There are three issues which should be addressed, particularly where the system is over ten years old:

  • Occupants should be aware of warning signs indicating possible thermostat failure and overheating of water in the cylinder (typically this would be excessive hot water coming from the taps, or excessive noise or bubbling from the hot water cylinder).
  • Storage systems should be installed on an adequate supporting base. The incidents that prompted this alert occurred primarily because the plastic storage cisterns were not supported across their entire area, and the base of the cistern protruded over the edge of the base support board.
  • A safety cut out feature, independent of the immersion heater thermostat, can be fitted to limit the temperature of the stored water, should the thermostat fail.

The European Standards for Safety of Internal Window Blinds have addressed the risks posed to children by internal blinds. The cords or chains fitted with a loop, could create a hazard where children are likely to have access. Landlords and Lettings Agents have a duty of care to ensure a snap connector or hook tie is fitted.

It is a Landlord's responsibility to make sure that the property is free from hazards including unprotected sunken ponds, loose patio stones and steps, and stagnant water which can enable Legionella bacteria growth. A regular risk assessment is required and will be discussed with you.

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