Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are numerous regulations to which landlords must adhere before renting out a property. We will provide guidance on your responsibilities under common law, but here is a summary:
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
You must keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property including drains, gutters and external pipes. You are obliged to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the property for the supply of water, gas and electricity, and for sanitation, and for heating water.
The Fire and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (Amendment) 1993
All furniture and soft furnishings provided in rented accommodation must comply with the regulations. Any items that do not comply or do not show evidence of complying will have to be removed prior to the start of the tenancy. Exemptions do apply, and we can advise you of these.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
All gas appliances, pipework, and meters must be checked, inspected and certificated by a Gas Safe Register engineer every twelve months. Compliance is vital as deaths are caused each year by the use of faulty appliances and, where no inspection has been carried out, landlords are considered responsible. Oscar Knight will arrange for our approved engineers to carry out the relevant inspections with minimum fuss, and at competitive rates.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
You must make sure electrical equipment is safe and will not cause danger to your tenants, and that it satisfies the safety requirements of the 1994 Regulations. We can recommend suitably qualified electrical contractors to carry out inspections where appropriate.
The Building Regulations 1991 (Smoke Alarms)
The Building Regulations 1991 requires that mains-operated smoke alarms must be fitted in all new buildings. Property built before 1992 does not comply. However, Oscar Knight recommends that a battery-operated smoke alarm be fitted to every floor of a rented property to better protect tenants and your investment.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
It is a legal requirement for there to be an EPC in place before any Assured Shorthold Tenancy is entered into. Where possible, we have the EPC in place when we commence marketing your property.
An EPC is a report prepared by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) on the energy efficiency / carbon footprint of a particular property. This is not to be confused with reports on the safety of electrical or gas installations. As well as providing information on the current energy efficiency of a property, it also provides an idea of how it can be improved upon.
TIP: If you have purchased the property or let it since October 2008, you may already have an EPC, and it remains valid for 10 years. If not, we will arrange the EPC for you at very competitive rates.
Please note: New standards for energy efficiency are being introduced in April 2018, after which all new tenancy and lettings renewals must have a minimum rating of 'E' otherwise a fine can be issued.