Statutory regulations

There are several regulations in place to protect you, your tenant and your property. Every member of our team is well versed in these regulations and will be happy to talk them through with you. Or our experienced property management team can carry out any work that is required to bring the property up to regulation standards.

For your convenience here is a comprehensive breakdown of the statutory regulations that govern rental properties:

Property Management Services

The furniture and furnishings (Fire) (Safety) regulations 1988 and (amendment) regulations 1993

Any rental property that contains upholstered furniture or soft furnishings containing foam must comply with the above regulation. It is a criminal offence if it does not.

The regulation requires that specified items must be ‘match’, and ‘cigarette’ resistant and carry a permanent label with the heading “CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE”.

These Regulations apply to the following items:

  • beds, headboards, mattresses and bed bases
  • sofa beds and futons
  • sofas, armchairs and footstools
  • nursery furniture
  • garden furniture suitable for use indoors (deckchairs and parasols would not therefore be included)
  • scatter cushions and seat pads
  • pillows
  • padded seats
  • loose and stretch furniture covers

These Regulations DO NOT apply to the following items

  • bed covers, including mattress protectors and duvets
  • curtains
  • carpets
  • furniture made before 1950 (However, any reupholstered pre-1950 furniture must comply.)

Electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994 and plugs and sockets etc (safety) regulations 1994

Landlords must provide instruction booklets for all items of electrical equipment. Also, landlords must ensure:

  • All electrical appliances within the property comply with the above regulation
  • All electrical installations are safe and that they are checked regularly
  • All plugs must have a safety sheath and the correct fuse
  • All sockets must comply with the current regulations which state that they should have an “off” switch and must be flush with the wall

Electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994

Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that all electrical equipment and appliances must be maintained and in a safe condition. New electrical equipment must carry a CE marking, affixed by the manufacturer.

Portable appliance testing (PAT)

The PAT test is the electrical safety testing of portable electrical equipment. It involves a visual inspection and various electrical tests.

Appliances that have passed the test are deemed to be safe to use until the next test date. The time between tests is normally 12 months.

Electrical installation condition reports (EICR)

Ensuring the safety of your tenants is a landlord’s top priority. It is recommended that you have a full electrical inspection carried out every three to five years.

An EICR assesses the condition of all electrical wiring throughout the property and thoroughly checks the safety of the electrical installation.

Upon completion, you will be issued with an ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’. This report explains if the property meets current safety standards. It also highlights any areas that need attention.

Gas safety (installation and use) regulations 1998

It is a criminal offence to let a property with gas appliances, installations and pipework that has not been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The tenancy cannot commence until a valid certificate is in place.

At the start of the tenancy, the Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) will need to be given to your tenant as documentary proof of your compliance with these regulations.

The GSC must be renewed every 12 months and a new copy provided to the tenant within twenty-eight days.

Part “P” building regulations (electrical safety in dwellings)

The above regulation was introduced on 1st January 2005. It states that only qualified personnel can carry out electrical work at the property.

To ensure compliance with the regulations you should only use a competent person to carry out any electrical work at the property. This person needs to be registered with an approved self-certification scheme.

Smoke alarms

Under the Building Regulations 1991, the law requires that all newly built properties from June 1992 and Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) have mains fitted smoke alarms with a battery back-up.

If battery operated smoke alarms are fitted to the property, the landlord must ensure that the alarms are in good working order at the start of a tenancy.

Since October 2015 under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, all premises occupied by a tenant must be equipped with a smoke alarm that is fitted on each storey of the property where there is a room that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This includes stairways.

The landlord is obliged to ensure the alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins and remains in proper working order.

Carbon monoxide alarms

It is a legal requirement for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted.

However, we strongly recommend all landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms to ensure the safety of their tenant.  If we are managing the property we can arrange for an alarm to be fitted at your expense.

Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, when the premises are occupied under a tenancy, any room that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation or that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, it must have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted.

The landlord must ensure that the alarm is in proper working order on the day a new tenancy begins and remains in proper working order.

Oil, LPG, sold fuel appliances and wood burning stoves

Oil, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), solid fuel appliances and wood burning stoves should be serviced and safety checked annually.

Wood burning stoves installed from 2011 must have an installation certificate and a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. You must provide us with a copy of the installation certificate.

Energy performance of buildings (certificates and inspections) (England and Wales) regulations 2007

Since 1st October 2008, a prospective tenant of a residential property has to be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

EPCs must be provided by accredited energy inspectors and last for ten years. The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 mean that, from April 2018, private non-domestic (and domestic) landlords must ensure that properties they rent in England and Wales have an EPC rating of E or above before they can rent the property.

Legionella risk assessment

Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires’ Disease. Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease and have measures in place to minimise the risk.

Landlords have a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants is properly assessed and control measures introduced. This applies to houses or flats with domestic type water systems.

Provided the risk assessment shows that the risks are insignificant, and the control measures are being properly managed no further action would be necessary. It is important, however, to keep the assessment under review periodically in case anything changes to the system.

Statutory repairing responsibilities

Sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 state that a Landlord must:

  1. Keep the structure (including the drains, gutters and downpipes) and the exterior of the Property in good order and repair)
    Keep the appliances for supply of gas, electricity and water in good repair
    c. Keep the appliances for the supply of space heating and water heating in good repair. Keep the sanitary appliances in good repair.

The landlord is obliged under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement to ensure that necessary repairs are undertaken in a timely manner.