All furniture and furnishing need to meet strict criteria laid out in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations1988 (amended 1989 and 1993). Under these regulations all upholstered items, including beds and sofas, must have fire resistant filling and have passed a match resistance test. Cover fabrics and filling materials must also have passed a cigarette resistance test. Most items should have a compliance code on them or proof they have been fire-safety tested. As a general rule items bought before 1988 may need to be replaced. The regulations apply to pillows, beds, sofas, armchairs and nursery furniture but not antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, duvets, curtains and carpets.
Landlords are also required to ensure that any gas boilers and other equipment are serviced once a year. Records must be kept of the condition of the equipment and gas safety checks. A landlord is also legally required to provide a tenant with an annual gas safety certificate. The service must by carried out by a contractor registered with Gas Safe, previously known as the Council for the Registration of Gas Installers (CORGI). The relevant law is The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.
The electrical wiring in the home must be safe and in good working order. Wiring that is more than 15 years old needs to be inspected annually. To assess electrical safety a landlord must ensure they use an electrician who is approved through the Part 'P' Competent Person Scheme. The relevant law regarding electrical safety for landlords is The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and Smoke Detectors Act 1991.
A landlord is committing an offence under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) if they refuse to let a property because a person is disabled. It is also an offence to impose higher rental or deposit charges based on disability. Landlords are not obliged to alter a property to accommodate a person with a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), but they must not prevent a disabled tenant making reasonably alterations to improve access. Energy Performance Certificates
Since 1st October 2008, Landlords have been legally required to provide copies of an Energy Performance Certificate to potential tenants. An Energy Performance Certificate tells a landlord and prospective tenants how energy efficient a rental property is on a scale of A-G, with A being the most efficient. The EPC certificate also indicates, on a scale of A-G, about the impact the property has on the environment. Better-rated properties to let should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The EPC will make recommendations about how a property's energy efficiency can be improved. An EPC is valid for 10 years and must be obtained from a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) who is a member of an accreditation scheme approved by the Government. If landlords fail to obtain an EPC before they market a rental property they may be liable for a fine and must withdraw the property from market until they have obtained one. Landlords are not required to obtain a new certificate each time they re-let a property.
Right to Rent
Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy 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 CHANGES 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. NOTE: The law does not apply to children (under the age of 18) living at the property and we only need to check people who will be using your property as their only or main home. We need to conduct checks on all adult occupiers not just the tenancy holder.
Lets Rent Cambridge are members of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) an Insurance-based scheme run by an organisation called The Dispute Service and was established back in 2003 to provide independent dispute resolution and complaints handling for the lettings industry. It has been running a voluntary tenancy deposit scheme for use by regulated agents since that time and is backed by the three professional bodies for letting agents in the residential property sector, ARLA, NAEA and RICS. For more information visit the website www.tds.gb.com
Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Landlords are required to fit smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms using solid fuels – such as coal and wood – and make sure they are working at the start of each tenancy.
Lets Rent Cambridge are not FCA registered so cannot offer advice on insurance. All landlords are required to advise their buildings and contents insurer that they will be letting the property and many standard Lettings policies include: Accidental Damage to buildings Subsidence, Heave and Landslip, Property Owners Liability cover, Loss of rent cover, Lock replacement, Trace & Access cover, Flood & Escape of Water, Subsidence, Heave and Landslip, Accidental Damage to Contents, Malicious Damage by Tenants, New for Old Cover, Flood & Escape of Water excess.