Lettings Team: 0121 240 8100
Management Team: 0121 354 2665
14 High Street Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B72 1UX

Is your property safe and legal?

Gas Safety (Installation And Use) Regulations 1994

It is a legal requirement that landlords of rented properties must have all gas appliances in their properties checked on an annual basis. The tenant must receive a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate when they occupy the property. All gas work has to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered contractor and it is an offence to carry out work on gas installations if you are not Gas Safe registered. If you have a service contract with British Gas or another qualified company, then you will have an annual service and inspection carried out. They will not automatically provide a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate; this must be requested as a separate item. We can arrange for a contractor to visit the property prior to the first letting and check all appliances. Thereafter, inspections/services can be carried out annually.

Fire And Furnishings (Fire Safety Amendment) Regulations 1993

It is an offence to supply furniture which does not comply with the Fire Resistance Requirements contained in Regulation 14 of the 1988 Regulations. The regulations state that it is an offence to supply in the course of business any furniture to which the regulations apply, unless that furniture meets what is known as “the cigarette test”, “the match test” and also “the ignitability test”. The Regulations apply to all upholstery and upholstered furnishing, loose fittings, permanent or loose covers.

Please note it is an offence to supply furniture that does not comply. This means that you cannot give furniture or sell furniture to a tenant as this would be deemed to be supplying. If furniture does not comply it must be removed from the property.

Furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950 is excluded from the regulations; this is because the defective materials were not in use prior to 1950, and this exempts “period” or “antique” furniture. Failure to comply with these regulations carries a penalty of 6 months imprisonment, or a fine on what is known as “level 5” maximum, currently £5,000, or both. It is best practice to install smoke detectors to all floors.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

In the event of a tenant having an accident are you able to prove that your property, including all appliances, was safe to let? In the UK during 2002, according to RoSPA there were over 11,000 injuries due to accidents in the home related to electrical wiring and appliances. In 2000 there were 44 deaths involving electric current in the UK. Source: RoSPA

ONE Safety Inspection Engineer in ONE year found

  • Trip switches not tripping when they should, or fast enough to comply with the Regulations
  • Plugs drawing too much current and overheating/burning
  • Electric hobs rusted through, so that every time a pot boils over water could go straight into the electrics
  • Showers where the light on/off pull cord is within arm's reach of the shower
  • Breached seals on the shower box so water can get into the electrics
  • Double wall sockets wired up the wrong way round, appliances may be live
  • Sockets not earthed

Even brand new properties sometimes infringe the Regulations e.g. the kitchen sockets found within arms reach of the kitchen sink – and then there was the quaint old cottage featuring a ‘brand new re-wire’. In fact, the new cables from each socket were sunk just a few inches into the wall and beyond that it was pure 1920s!

Failure to meet these requirements can lead a £5,000 fine, imprisonment or both. In extreme cases of negligence by a landlord you could also be facing manslaughter charges.

You may be told it is not a legal requirement to have your electrics tested for safety. This is misleading, as you have a duty of care and legal requirement to provide a property which is safe.

The only way to be certain your property is SAFE and LEGAL is to have a Periodic Inspection and a Portable Appliance Test.