Private Landlords: Safety Responsibilities

A private landlord has certain safety responsibilities when renting out their property, particularly gas, electrical and fire safety. Rental properties must be safe and free from health hazards for tenants.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t changed these rules and the necessary safety checks are still permitted to go ahead, as long as Covid-19 safety guidelines are followed. Landlords need to work with tenants to make sure the property is kept safe during these difficult times.

Fire safety label

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Gas safety

A landlord must make sure all the gas equipment they supply is installed safely and maintained properly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The gas engineer must complete an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance and the flue, at the landlord’s expense.

The landlord should give a new tenant a copy of the gas safety certificate before they move in, or within 28 days of the safety check for an existing tenant. They must arrange the safety check and should give the tenant reasonable notice of when it’s due, booking it for a mutually convenient time.

During the pandemic, government guidance states landlords must make every effort to ensure gas safety checks are still completed. If the tenant is self-isolating, the landlord can delay the inspection until the end of their isolation.


Electrical safety

The electrical safety of rented properties has been subject to some recent legislation changes. The landlord must make sure the property’s electrical system is safe; including light fittings, plug sockets and light sockets. Electrical appliances such as the cooker must also be safety-tested.

The new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 have introduced greater responsibilities for landlords. The legislation came into effect on 1st June 2020, forming part of the government’s remit to improve safety in the home, particularly in the private rented sector.

Every landlord must make sure their rental properties’ electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified electrician at least every five years. They must keep a copy of the report and pass one to the tenant within 28 days.

Any new tenant must be given a copy of the report before moving in. While new tenants have required a copy of the electrical safety certificate before moving in since June 2020, landlords have until 1st April this year to provide a certificate for existing tenants.


Fire safety

Fire safety regulations are governed by the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, which were updated in 1989, 1993 and 2010. They set the legal level of fire resistance for upholstered furniture and furnishings.

The law ensures that any upholstery used for furniture in the UK meets the required ignition resistance levels; it must be suitably labelled. The materials must also be cigarette-resistant, and the furniture covers must be match-resistant. A permanent label should be attached to all relevant items of furniture. Suppliers of new upholstered furniture must maintain their records to prove compliance for five years.

These regulations also apply to the filling materials of bed-bases, divans, mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows, permanent covers for furniture, loose covers and self-assembly domestic upholstered furniture supplied in kit form.

Landlords renting out furnished properties must ensure the tenants’ furniture and furnishings comply with fire regulations. The law also applies to estate agents and letting agents who let rented accommodation, and to companies who hire out furniture for holiday homes and residential furnished lettings including flats, houses and bedsits.

If you’re a landlord looking for a complete furniture solution for rental properties, contact Let Us Furnish for a great range of items that comply with the current safety regulations. A professional supplier and installer of various furniture packages including beds and mattresses, bedroom furniture, sofas, chairs, living room furniture, dining sets, electrical goods and homewares; our bespoke furniture solutions offer flexibility.

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