The regulated world of lettings

Landlords have a duty to comply with over 150 pieces of current legislation

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

In March 2019 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force, which listed 29 areas within the HHSRS (Housing Health & Safety Rating System) that should be considered by a landlord to ensure they protect the safety of a tenant.

If these standards are not met, your tenant will have the right to bring a claim against you for breach of contract and seek compensation.

There are also guidelines that could affect your ability to serve a notice for possession of your property for a six-month period if the authorities found essential repairs had not been carried out within a reasonable timeframe.

Tenant fees are banned

Tenant Fees Act 2019

This Act came into force on 1st June 2019, prohibiting any tenant fees other than the permitted fees listed within the act.

Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £30,000, together with losing the ability to evict your tenant.

Furniture and Furnishings

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

It is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine and/or a prison term, to let Property with furniture or soft furnishings which cannot be proven to be fire resistant and comply with the above fire safety regulations.

The correct labels must be attached.

Gas Safety

Gas Safety (Installation and use) Regulations 1998.

It is a criminal offence to let a property with gas appliances (including but not limited to gas boilers, fires, heaters, and gas water heaters) that have not been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

You will need to provide us with a copy of a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) carried out no more than 12 months previously. We need to provide your tenant documentary proof of your compliance with these regulations at the commencement of the tenancy.

Failure to comply can result in severe fines/Imprisonment.

Electrical safety

Electrical Safety Standards in the private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

From 1st July 2020 it is a legal requirement to comply with this regulation and carry out a Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report (DEICR) by a qualified electrician and complete essential works.

Failure to comply can result in severe fines/Imprisonment.

Appliance safety

Portable Appliance Test Certificate (PAT)

It is your responsibility to ensure the electrical appliances within the property comply with current regulations and are ‘safe for the purpose’.

You must be able to categorically confirm that all electrical equipment is safe, and you will be held responsible should anything happen to your tenant as a result of faulty electrical equipment. 

You are also required to provide instruction books to your tenant for all items of electrical equipment. It is also the landlord’s responsibility to check the condition of all electrical appliances at the changeover of each tenancy and to ensure that they are in full working order.

Failure to comply can result in severe fines/Imprisonment.

Legionella Bacteria

Legionella Risk Assessment

Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella bacteria is properly assessed and controlled.

This duty extends to residents, guests, tenants, and customers.

The landlord can carry out a risk assessment themselves if they are competent or they can employ somebody who is.

Smoke and carbon monoxide

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

It is a landlord’s legal responsibility to fit smoke alarms in all important areas, including each floor of the property, to ensure your tenants safety.

It is also a requirement that a Carbon Monoxide alarm is fitted in each room where there is a gas appliance located. We believe it is advisable to fit a Carbon Monoxide alarm in all locations where a gas appliance is located, not just solid fuel-burning appliances.

The landlord must ensure that they are in good working order at the commencement of the tenancy. 

Your legal requirement is to test them on the start date of the tenancy, even the day before will not be compliant!

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