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NB, I specialise in safety checks and certificates and work for a large number of estate agents and private landlords - some of whom have been with me for over 10 years.
Your legal duties
Letting a Property
There are four main areas of law which a property must comply with before it is ready to be let. They have been listed below and I have added my own notes:
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended) - all gas appliances must “be safe” - this is a legal requirement for all rented property and this needs to be done every 12 months.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 - all electrical appliances must “be safe” - you have a responsibility to ensure that all electrical appliances, circuits, cables, switches and fuse board is safe and sound. There is no legal requirement to produce any certificate BUT, if the unfortunate did happen, would you be covered? A simple PAT test will ensure that all appliances left in your property are tested for earthing, continuity and soundness. All appliances are labelled. This is one way you could prove that you have taken your responsibilty seriously.
Smoke Detectors Act 1991 – the property must have smoke alarms - I can supply and fit as a non profit service. Please dont forget to add this servce on.
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2008 - from 1st October 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate must be made available to a prospective tenant. This is a legal requirement and although does not have an effect on safety, you can still
be fined for not having one. An agent will always ask if you have on before selling you their own services.
The Department for Communities and Local Government makes recommendations to Landlords and Tenants on how to ensure compliance to the Safety Regulations. The CLG website is a useful reference for the legislation, and clearly states that there is a legal requirement for electrical safety:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/BuyingAndSellingYourHome/LettingYourHome/DG_4001391 amongst other things.
I can carry out am annual gas safety inspection to the property and provide the necessary Gas Safety Certificate (CP12)
Electrical Equipment Safety
I can inspect and test the landlord’s electrical appliances (PAT testing) and carry out a visual survey of the electrical power points, light switches, earth bonding and fuse box once a year and possibly prior to a new tenancy. The landlord is provided with Visual Inspection Reports and Appliance Test Results which also help to control property damage
Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) to the Electrical Installation
The electrical circuitry should be inspected and tested on a five yearly cycle. I can carry out this inspection and provide a full report (PIR) with any recommendations needed to bring the electrical system up to the standard required under current regulations BS7671. Some insurance companies require this inspection and any safety issues rectified, before granting insurance cover. Most, if not all, Housing Associations and Councils require this if you are intending to rent you property to them for a fixed 1,3 or 5 year period
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Safety
If required, I can provide a full inspection of the property and advise where smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could be fitted - I supply these at no extra cost and installation is free