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Legal & Safety

Station Gate 029The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

These regulations were amended in 1993 and set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings.  It is an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations.  This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential property to let.

The regulations apply to beds, sofas, bed-heads, children’s furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture or other similar items.  The regulations do not apply to curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets and mattress covers).

Any furniture manufactured after March 1990 is likely to comply, but if the appropriate labels are not on the furniture, compliance is in doubt and checks should be made with the manufacturer.

The Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998

These regulations first came in to effect 31st October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.  It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that ALL gas appliances and gas installation pipe work owned by them are checked for safety at least once a year by British Gas or a Gas Safe registered installer.  In addition, accurate records of the safety inspections and any work carried out must be kept.  The current safety certificate must always be available for any tenant prior to them taking occupation of a property.

Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord.  Under the regulations any appliance that does not conform can be disconnected.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

The above regulations impose an obligation on a landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances left as part of a let property are safe.  Cabling, fuse and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary to the correct rating for that particular appliance.

A way of checking to see whether all electrical installations and any supplied appliances are safe is to have them checked by a competent electrician and have them supply a periodic Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Building Regulations 1991 – Smoke Alarms

All rented  properties must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms on each floor.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Since  October 2008 legislation has stated that a property which is rented out requires an Energy Performance Certificate.  This certificate provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the property, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least