The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998

This regulation has been introduced to cover any gas appliance or installation in rented properties that must be checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered plumber and a landlord’s safety certificate issued. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to the tenant.

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Sector (England) Regulations 1st June 2020 - NEW!

These new Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent at least every 5 years. Landlords or their agent must provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.

Smoke Detection & CO Alarms

Since the 1st October 2015 landlords are required to fit mains-powered smoke alarms, one to each floor. With effect from the 1st October 2015, landlords will be required to have working smoke alarms on every floor of their property and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms where a solid fuel heating system is installed. Alarms must be tested at the start of every new tenancy. Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarm for their circumstances and property.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended 1989, 1993)

It is an offence to supply furniture and furnishings in the course of business that do not comply with the regulations concerning fire resistance and they must pass the ‘match test’. Generally, products manufactured after March 1989 will satisfy the required standards and a label or warranty should be visible.

Overseas Landlords

A landlord is considered an ‘overseas landlord’ for tax purposes if they are out of the country for more than six months as a total in any tax year. Landlords are obligated to pay tax if it is due and must declare their income whether or not they are resident in this country. An application, form NRL1, can be made to HMRC for the agent to pass on gross rental income (i.e. without deductions for tax)

Energy Performance Certificates for Dwellings in the Social and Private Rented Sectors

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required prior to a property being advertised to let. Landlords must provide an EPC certificate free of charge to prospective tenants to view and a copy must be provided to the person who takes up the tenancy. The EPC is valid for 10 years and can be re-used as many times as required within that period, however as of the 1st April 2018, all ratings must have a minimum energy performance rate of E.

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 thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced.

Right to Rent

On 1 February 2016 the parts of the Immigration Act 2014 dealing with a ‘right to rent’ came into force in England and Wales. Under the scheme, landlords must not allow a person/s to occupy premises unless they have a ‘right to rent’. You can be fined for breaking the law, but you will have a defence if you take proper steps to check the identity and immigration status of people authorised to live at your property. Abacus Letting Services will ensure through the referencing company, Rent-4-Sure, that all the necessary checks are undertaken to make sure prospective tenants have the legal right to rent your property.

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