Legal requirements

Important Information On Legal Requirements for renting out a house or flat

There are various legislation that are mandatory when letting out your property;

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation 1994

* All gas appliances such as cookers & boilers in rented accommodation must be certified every year by a Corgi Registered installer. These regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.

* For further information on these regulations please ring the free HSE Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300363. Failure to comply may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which carries a maximum fine of £5000.00 and/or a 6 month imprisonment sentence.

Furniture And Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

* All upholstered furniture must comply with the furniture and furnishings regulation 1988. Upholstered or even part upholstered furniture is covered by regulations including beds, mattresses, headboards, pillows, cushions, seat pads and garden furniture that may be used inside of the property. Bedclothes, carpets, curtains and furniture manufactured before 1950 are exempt from this regulation.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, Mandatory Since 1st January 1997

* All appliances that are supplied within a rental property must meet a certain criteria certified by a qualified electrician. This applies to both new and second hand appliances. This also includes appliances such as immersion heaters, toasters, washing machines, cookers and showers.

* Failure to comply may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which carries a maximum fine of £5000.00 and/or a 6-month imprisonment sentence.

Energy Performance Certificate

From 1st October 2008 any property that is owned by a landlord and is part of their rental property portfolio will be subject to energy assessment to establish the performance of the building in a similar way to residential domestic property. Certificates must be available to any prospective tenants; there is no need to obtain a new certificate for an existing tenancy. Once obtained a certificate remains valid for up to 10 years.

Smoke Alarms

In all new homes built after 1st June 1992, a legal requirement was introduced by the Department of the Environment, to ensure all builders install mains operated smoke detectors on every floor and that they must be interlinking. Should the property be built prior to the above date then the recommendation is that one smoke alarm should be fitted to provide sufficient early warning of fire if the property is a flat or bungalow. This should be fitted in the hallway between living and sleeping areas. Where there is more than one floor, one alarm should be fitted at the bottom of the staircase with an alarm on each upstairs landing. Please be advised that it is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure the safety of your tenants, therefore anywhere else you see fit to install an alarm we recommend that you do so.

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