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Gas Safety Certificate
As from 1 April 1998 all gas engineers must be ACOPS (Approved Code of Practice 'Standards of Training in Gas Safety Legislation') qualified as well as Gas Safe registered. Gas engineers must meet certain criteria for each type of gas operation carried out. The ACOPS certificates are broken down into different elements depending on the type of work carried out. It will be the responsibility of the landlord to check that all the gas engineers used have the relevant ACOPS certificate. Failure to do so may result in both civil action being taken against the landlord and a criminal offence being committed. The above regulations state the landlord must ensure that all his gas appliances are checked annually to ensure that they are safe. The regulations came into force in October 1994 and must be enforced by Gas Safe registered installer. You must obtain proof from the Gas Safe registered engineer that all appliances are safe. You must keep a record of when each gas appliance was checked and from 31 October 1996 a copy of the safety certificate must be given to the tenant. We will require a copy of this certificate prior to the tenancy commencing. We reserve the right to appoint a Gas Safe registered installer to carry out an annual safety check or take remedial action to make safe a faulty appliance and charge any reasonable expenses incurred if it is brought to our attention that you have failed to take appropriate action.
The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 came into force on 31st January 2003. These Regulations replaced the Electricity Supply Regulations 1988 (as amended).
The Regulations specify safety standards which are aimed at protecting the general public from danger. In addition, the Regulations specify power quality and supply continuity requirements to ensure an efficient and economic electricity supply service for consumers. The Regulations were introduced to improve standards in public safety and to align requirements to modern electricity markets.
The duty holders are generators, distributors, suppliers, meter operators, consumers and specified persons. Most of the duties apply to distributors who own or operate networks used to supply customers' installations, street furniture or other networks.
Amongst other duties, distributors are required to provide an earthing facility for new connections (unless this would be inappropriate for safety reasons), to maintain the supply within defined tolerance limits and to provide certain technical and safety information to consumers to enable them to design their installations.
Distributors and meter operators must ensure that their equipment on consumers' premises is suitable for its purpose and safe in its particular environment and that the polarity of conductors is clearly indicated.
The Regulations allow the Secretary of State to issue safety enforcement notices to consumers in circumstances where consumers' installations outside buildings present a danger to the public.
Under a residential tenancy, there is a statutory implied obligation on the part of the landlord to keep the electrical installations in good repair and proper working order.
Energy Performance Certificate
From the 1st October 2008, your property will require an Energy Performance rating and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), this must be produced by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) officer.
This document must be available as soon as the property is being marketed or when an offer of accommodation is made, so prospective tenants are aware of the energy performance rating before they make a decision.
Energy performance Certificates for rental purposes will be valid for 10 years, this applies to both existing and new build properties. A new certificate is not needed for a renewal of a tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
By law in England and Wales taking deposits on assured shorthold tenancies starting after 5th April 2007 must be insured under a tenancy deposit protection scheme, which is covered by an additional flat fee per deposit. Additional fee to protect deposit not required on Tenancy renewal or extension.
The Landlord must accept ultimate liability for the deposit.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detector
From the 1 October 2015, Landlords will have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG.
Landlords or agents will then have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy. For example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
Legionella Risk Assessment
Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems. Approved Code of Practice1 gives specific information on the health and safety law that applies. In brief, general duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act)2 extend to risks from legionella bacteria, which may arise from work activities. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 provide a broad framework for controlling health and safety at work (see www.hse. gov.uk/risk for more information). More specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)3 provide a framework of duties designed to assess, prevent or control the risks from hazardous substances, including biological agents such as legionella, and take suitable precautions.
Right to Rent Immigration
Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy the property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent in the UK.
The law introduces a requirement from 1 February 2016 for all landlords of private rental accommodation in England to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether occupiers aged 18 and over have the right to live in the UK legally.
You need to make Right to Rent checks if you are a private landlord; have a lodger; are sub-letting a property; are an agent appointed by a Landlord to make Right to Rent checks.
The new rules give the Home Secretary power to serve a Notice on a landlord or letting agent telling them that a person or persons occupying their property have been disqualified from renting in the UK as a result of their immigration status. If a landlord or letting agent receives a Notice from the Home Secretary identifying that all occupiers in the property have no Right to Rent, the Landlord or letting agent will need to either take reasonable steps to end the Tenancy or serve a Notice on the occupiers. The minimum notice period is required to be 28 days to vacate the premises. Where the disqualified person has not left by the end of the 28 day period, the Landlord must take formal steps to end the tenancy.
NOTE: At the end of the 28 day period the landlords’ Notice will be enforceable as if it were an Order of the High Court i.e. Landlords can instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer directly to remove the occupiers. The Landlord will have to obtain a Writ of Possession from the high court.
If you have a mortgage on the property, then you must obtain permission from your mortgage lender and inform us of any special conditions that they impose. We may require written evidence of this