Every lease between a tenant and a landlord comes with inherent obligations for both sides.
As a landlord or managing agent, there are a set of legal responsibilities that you must uphold to ensure the safety of your tenants as well as avoid any potential penalties and keep your landlords insurance valid.
Protecting your tenants
Whether you are a private landlord of a single property or a managing agent of multiple properties, you need to be aware of the current regulation under UK law to uphold certain health and safety standards in your property.
Ultimately, all properties must be free from health hazards and any potential problems arising from poorly installed gas and electrical appliances.
If your tenants request an assessment, your property may undergo a full housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS), evaluating the potential risk of hazards. This risk-assessment evaluates a number of factors so it is worth making taking a look to make sure your property falls within the acceptable status.
Potential health and safety hazards:
- Damp and mould growth
- Water supply
- Electrical hazards
- Protection against fire
- Routes of escape
- Hot surfaces
If you’re concerned about any of these issues affecting your lease, get in touch with Bright Contractors and we’ll conduct a full assessment of your property and make any necessary recommendations.
Under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005, those responsible for a property must perform a full fire risk assessment to check that the property has adequate escape routes and fire detection systems in place.
Properties within buildings that have dark staircases or hallways should also pay special attention to the provision of emergency lighting in the event of an evacuation. Furniture and interior fittings should not present a barrier to escape or increase the risk of fire spreading.
While many buildings already have fitted smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, regular checks are necessary at the start of each tenancy to ensure they are actually in good working order.
Get in touch with Bright Contractors if you are concerned about the fire safety standards of your property or would like to schedule regular checks of your fire alarm and emergency lighting appliances.
Gas and electric safety
HMOs are legally required to undergo inspection every five years, but it is also recommended that all types of properties undergo regular scheduled testing by a licensed electrician every five years. This involves checking that gas supply and appliances meet the current safety requirements which should be carried out by a gas safe engineer.
Any electrical installations, home wiring and appliances in the property must also be safe. This includes all sockets, light fittings and appliances such as kettles, microwaves and cookers.
As home wiring and appliances can become damaged over the course of multiple tenancies, added attention to this with the help of property maintenance services could significantly reduce any risk to the safety of your current tenants.
If you fail to ensure that your property is safe for tenants to live in you may also invalidate your landlord insurance and be liable to pay penalties – so be careful!
Do you need regular safety checks?
Within today’s climate of increased vigilance when it comes to fire and emergency safety regulations, it pays to be proactive as a landlord or managing agent.
The best way to ensure your property is safe is to employ fully qualified electrical technicians, gas safe engineers, or fully accredited property maintenance services to regularly check your property.
This will ensure that your property meets the appropriate standards and receives the necessary compliance certificates.
To avoid the possibility of invalidating your landlord’s property insurance, regular scheduled checks can also provide you with the confidence that your property is completely covered in the event of theft, fire and damage or unpaid rent.