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  • Writer's pictureElliot Leigh

Landlord Safety Obligations in England

high visibility orange vests and hard helmets hung up on a white wall

We understand that being a Landlord can be complex yet rewarding. With laws & legislation constantly changing, it is important to keep well informed in order to properly understand your safety responsibilities & avoid legal trouble. To save your much valued time, and avoid significant penalties & fines, we have put together a list of safety obligations that landlords in England should ensure their properties adhere to.

Electrical Safety Obligations

As a Landlord, you have a legal duty to ensure that any fixed electrical installations that you have supplied in the property are safe throughout the tenancy. This includes plug sockets, switches and light fittings. You are required to have these installations inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at an interval of at least every 5 years.

Whilst regulations do not cover electrical appliances, we recommend that landlords regularly carry out PAT testing on any electrical appliance that they have provided and also supply tenants with a record as good practice. However, tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

In England, it is a legal requirement for all rental properties to adhere to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2022 which came into force in October 2022. This includes the following:

  • Landlords are required to install at least one smoke alarm on every level of a rented property that has rooms that are classed as ‘living accommodation’, even if this is simply a bathroom.

  • Landlords must install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is a fixed combustion appliance such as gas boilers, gas fires, log burners or open fires, or oil fuelled appliances. Whilst gas cookers are currently an exception, these are a source of Carbon Monoxide so we would recommend installing a detector in rooms where these cookers are located.

  • Landlords should ensure that any smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in the rental property are in good working order at the start of a new tenancy. If an issue is reported with the alarm during the tenancy, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix or replace the alarm as soon as possible.

Failure to adhere to these regulations could result in fines of up to £5,000 to the landlord. 

Furnishings in Rented Properties

According to The Furniture and Furnishings Regulations 1988, all domestic, upholstered furniture and items containing upholstery should pass the “smouldering cigarette” and “match flame” resistance test - they will carry a label to confirm this.

Most furniture manufactured in the UK after 1990 will meet these standards and display the required labelling. Unless deemed an exception, any furniture that does not meet these requirements should be removed from the property before a tenancy begins.

Assessing Legionella Risks for Landlords

Landlords must assess the risk for Legionnaires Disease in their property by carrying out checks at regular intervals and putting control measures in place. This includes the following:

  • Flushing the water system before a tenancy begins

  • Ensure cold water tanks have a tight lid

  • Ensure the water is kept at the right temperature

  • Remove unused pipework

  • Remind tenants to clean shower heads and run taps before use after being away

Are you a landlord getting bogged down by the ever-changing legislations? Joining a Guaranteed Rent Scheme such as that at Elliot Leigh Guaranteed Rent can save you from the hassle of maintaining your property whilst still providing you with a fixed rental income. Enquire here.

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