Health and Safety Responsibilities for Landlords
When it comes to investment, many people turn towards the property market. However, the responsibilities of being a landlord can often become blinded by the future profits and investment opportunities.
As a private landlord, you have a duty of care towards your tenants; making sure that the property is safe to live in and meets the numerous health and safety requirements.
So what are the responsibilities of landlords?
There are many guidelines that landlords must adhere to. These cover gas safety, electrical safety and the safety of the property and tenant in the event of a fire.
As a private landlord the safe installation of gas appliances is vital. Failing your tenants and not meeting the gas safe guidelines can lead to severe and sometimes fatal consciences.
Any gas equipment that is installed must be fitted by a registered gas safe engineer if you are based in the UK. You can find local gas fitters by browsing the gas safe website.
It is also your responsibility to ensure that every gas appliance in the property has a valid gas safety certification. This includes any central heating boilers and flues.
When a new tenant has been agreed, you must provide them with a valid copy of the most recent gas safety certificate. This should be provided before the new tenants move in or with 28-days of the inspection being completed.
Just as you would with any gas appliances, you must ensure that every electrical socket in the property is safe and fit for use.
The best way to ensure this is completed is to arrange for a qualified electrician to complete various PAT testing on electrical goods and sockets.
This will then enable you to make sure that any appliances that you have supplied are also in safe working condition. These appliances typically include cookers, kettles, microwave ovens and hobs.
50% of domestic fires are caused by cooking appliances as a result of power or gas constantly being supplied. The installation of a simple smoke detection or CO alarm could make a significant difference.
As a landlord you must follow every safety regulation. Just as we mentioned above, you must supply a smoke alarm on every level of the property and a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in any room that contains a log fire or wood burner.
In the event of a fire, your tenants should have access to a reliable safety route. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that a safe escape route is in place.
If you intend to provide your rental property with any furnishings such as sofas or dining tables, they have to be fire safe. Fire safe furniture will have a small symbol tagged to the outside of the material. If this symbol is present, your furniture will be fire safe.
Property is one of the leading investment routes for private landlords.
However, you must meet a number of health and safety requirements and be considered responsible at all times.
As the landlord of a rental property you must ensure that any gas appliances or products have been thoroughly tested by a registered gas safe technician. Failing to do so will result in court proceedings and you could develop a criminal record.
All electrical appliances in the property need to be safe and fit for use. This includes any items that you are supplying as the landlord. Use the services of a qualified electrician to complete various PAT tests on all sockets and appliances.
Domestic fires cause a number of fatalities every year. Ensure that any property has working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Author Bio: This guest article was written by Ed Davis, Co-Owner and contributor for Davis and Mac, a traditional Man and Van in London.