Our guide on rental legislation
The Gas Safety (Installation and use) Regulations 1998
These state that a landlord must make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. A gas safety check must be carried out every 12 months by a registered gas engineer.
Tenants should also be informed where to turn off the gas supply in the event of an emergency.
The Electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994
These demand that the landlord ensures that electrical equipment and electrical systems are safe at the start and throughout a tenancy.
Landlords should arrange a portable appliance test (PAT) for all the electrical appliances in the property before it is let.
Tenants should also be given copies of operating and safety instructions for all equipment in the property.
The Furniture and Furnishings (fire safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended 1993, 2010)
These set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. There are four main elements contained within the regulations:
1. The filling materials must meet specified ignition requirements and testing
2. Upholstery composites must be cigarette resistant
3. Covers must be match resistant
4. A permanent label must be fitted to every item of new furniture to show ignition resistance.
Landlord’s failure to comply with the regulations can result in a fine, imprisonment or both. They must check all furniture conforms to these regulations and replace them if they don’t.
Energy Performance Certificate (valid for 10 years)
This is required for all properties that are built, sold or rented and must be carried out by an accredited energy assessor.
An EPC contains information about the property’s energy use, energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use in order to save money.
It also gives the property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient to G (least efficient).
The smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
This requires landlords to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, in order to bring private rented accommodation in line with existing building regulations.
A smoke alarm must be fitted on each storey of the premises that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
A Carbon Monoxide alarm must be fitted in any room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. Eg Gas fire, gas cooker and boiler.
All alarms must be tested and in working order on the day a new tenant moves into a property, and failure to do so could result in prosecution.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This requires that the landlord ensures the health and safety of their tenant, by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards. It is their duty to assess the risk from exposure and take the necessary steps to ensure the risk remains low.
For example, all man made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow (Legionnaires Disease) and it is the landlord’s legal duty to ensure that this is avoided.
There are two main routes for landlords to regain possession of their property under the Housing Act 1988.
In both cases the tenant must be given 2 months written notice of the landlord’s intention to regain possession.
Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession after the fixed term has ended without having to give any grounds.
Section 8 gives the landlord the right to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15 or 17 listed in schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
MHE Residential can give advice about the legalities of possession of property should the situation arise. However, we do recommend taking legal advice from a solicitor to discuss the options open to you.
Protecting a tenant’s deposit
This is a legal requirement for homes rented on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy that started after 6th April 2007. The deposit must be put into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
Deposits are protected to ensure tenants get all, or part of their deposits back, when they are entitled to it. Their deposits must be returned as long as the rent is paid, there’s no damage to the property, and the terms of the agreement are met.
If there are any disputes at the end of the tenancy, the deposit protection service will offer a dispute resolution service and any decision made about the deposit will be final.
Call us today for more help and advice on letting and renting 0208 633 3211.