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A guide to Rules & Regulations

from Sugarhouse Properties

Crossword made up of rules and regulations

The legal side of things can be a bit of a minefield to the uninitiated, particularly in recent years when a number of new legislative and planning changes have caught out many a well-meaning landlord. There are a number of basic safety checks you need to undertake and a raft of other related issues of which you need to be aware. The essentials are as follows (but please check with us as these are always subject to change);

Gas

(The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998)
Where there are any gas appliances in the property provided by the landlord, the landlord must ensure that annual gas safety checks are carried out. These checks must be carried out by a gas fitter/ engineer who is registered on the Gas Safe Register and a copy of the relevant certificate must also be given to the tenant.

Electric

(The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994)
Where a property is provided with electrical appliances it is the landlord's responsibility to make sure that they are safe at the outset of letting. If your property is a house in multiple occupation of any kind then you must have a five yearly electrical safety check carried out by a competent electrician even if you do not need a licence. This will cover shared houses, flats in multiple occupation, bedsits, hostels and certain converted blocks of flats.

Fire Safety

Where fire alarm systems are provided in a house in multiple occupation, the landlord is responsible for insuring these are checked regularly. You must also make sure that the means of escape from the property (normally the halls stairs and landings) are unobstructed. Houses in multiple occupation include shared houses, flats in multiple occupation, bedsits and certain types of converted flats.

Furniture

(The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended)
All furniture and furnishings provided in the property must be fire resistant, whilst furniture and upholstery should pass the “match resistance” and “cigarette” tests as prescribed.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Before a tenant moves in there must be an energy performance certificate in place for most types of property. This must be made available to prospective tenants and a copy of the certificate given to any tenant who moves into the property. These certificates currently last for 10 years.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If a deposit is taken from a tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy, the deposit must be protected under one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and the relevant prescribed information for the scheme should be given to the tenant. This should all be done within 30 days of the deposit being paid.

HMO Licensing

Where a property is rented to a group of five or more unrelated sharers on an assured short-hold tenancy agreement and the accommodation provided is spread out over three or more stories, then it is likely that you will need to obtain an HMO license to be able to rent out the property. Depending on the type of properties, various provisions will need to be made in terms of amenity levels and fire safety.

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