Health and Safety
Solihull Residential Lettings hold the Health and Safety of our Tenants of paramount importance.
Updates and changes in mandatory legislation are provided by our professional body and are an invaluable resource in ensuring our Landlords comply with the Law.
Noncompliance can result in Landlords suffering punitive sanctions including:
– Unlimited fines
– Unlimited custodial sentences
– Criminal Record including manslaughter charges in the event of a fatality.
– Buildings and Contents Insurance being rendered invalid
– Tenants seeking damages through a County Court
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas installation, fittings, pipe-works, flue and appliances must be checked for safety at least once a year by a Gas Safe registered gas engineer.
At the commencement of the tenancy a copy of the Gas Safety Record must be provided to the tenants. Annual safety checks are required thereafter along with the new Gas Safety Record that must be shared with the tenants within 28 days of the expiry of the previous one.
Gas Safety Records must be retained for a period of 2 years from the date of testing and must be available to for inspection upon request.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 Landlords have a legal obligation and a duty of care to Tenants to ensure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment they supply in a property is in safe condition.
Should the electrical installation or any appliance within your rental property cause harm to a tenant you could be held liable.
In the event of an injury or fatality a defence of due diligence may be accepted where it can be shown that the Landlord took all reasonable steps to avoid exposing the tenants to danger.
To demonstrate due diligence, we strongly recommend that you commission:
1. Portable Appliance Testing annually
2. Electrical Installation Condition Report every 5 years for properties more than 10 years old.
Electrical testing must be carried out by an NICEIC qualified electrician.
In addition, instruction manuals for both fixed and portable appliances should be made available to the tenants
Part P Building Regulations
It is a legal requirement that any electrical installation work carried out in dwellings including rented properties complies with the British Standard for electrical installations BS 7671.
Any work carried out will need to be certified (excluding existing electrical installations) to show that it complies with BS 7671.
Landlords must notify the local authority building control team before work starts and must ensure that it is either carried out or inspected by an NICEIC qualified electrician.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 Landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
Landlords must also ensure there is a Carbon Monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt.
Landlords must ensure that the alarms are in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins whilst it is the Tenants responsibility to change the batteries.
Should the alarms become faulty during a tenancy, Landlords are responsible for replacing them.
As an extra precaution, and where a date is available, we monitor the alarms expiry dates and recommend replacing them accordingly.
New homes built after 1991 must be fitted with mains operated smoke alarms on every floor that are interlinked.
This requirement includes homes that have been converted or refurbished in line with the Building Regulations 1991
Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended in 1989 and 1993
Under the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended in 1989 and 1993 all furniture and furnishings must pass the ‘smouldering cigarette’ and ‘match flame’ resistance test and carry a label confirming this.
Generally, items manufactured in the UK after 1990 are likely to meet the required standards and display the appropriate permanent label confirming their compliance.
If items do not comply they should be removed from the property before it is let.
Exceptions to these regulations include:
– Furniture manufactured before 1950
– Carpets and curtains
– Bed linen including duvets but excluding pillows.
Compliant furniture will bear the following labels.
If they have been removed, proof of purchase in the UK is required to prove compliance.
Legionella Health and Safety Executive Guidance HSG274
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Landlords must assess and control the risk to Tenants of exposure to the legionella bacteria.
It is recommended that risk assessments should be retained and carried out every 2 years.
Control measures may include:
1. Flushing out the water system
2. Ensuring cold water tanks are sealed
3. Setting control parameters to ensure water is stored at the correct temperature
4. Providing tenants with guidelines on minimising the risk to exposure
Energy Performance Certificates
The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 state that Landlords are required to order and make all reasonable efforts to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) within seven days of instructing an agent to let your property.
Please note that Trading Standards police these regulations and prohibit us from advertising properties that do not display a valid EPC.
From 1st April 2018 a property cannot be let unless the EPC rating is between A-E.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and applies to residential properties in England and Wales.
It is an evaluation tool to assist local authorities in identifying and protecting against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies in dwellings.
For the avoidance of doubt dwellings include the rented property as well as any common areas which the tenant has the right to use or access.
The HHSRS assesses 29 categories of housing hazard.
Each hazard is weighted to according to their severity and classified as either Category 1 ( serious ) or Category 2 ( other ) factoring in the vulnerability of those subjected to it.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that properties are let in a suitable condition.
We appreciate that compliance may appear daunting, however we will be with you every step of the way.