Landlords - your responsibilities

Page last updated at 10 February 2017 at 12:04

Landlords - Your Responsibilities   

All rented accommodation, regardless of type or size, is governed by the requirements of the Housing Act 2004. As a landlord you need to know what your responsibilities and the requirements are. The Council is committed to ensuring that rented accommodation in our Borough is safe, well managed and meets these standards. By knowing your responsibilities and ensuring your property meets the required standards you will not only be protecting your tenants but also yourself and your asset and it will reduce the Council's need for enforcement action.

Fire

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As a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure that your rented property has a sufficient and suitable automatic fire detection and alarm system and that it is tested regularly to ensure that it is in working order. Lacors: Housing - Fire Safety is a national guidance document that sets out the different levels of fire detection coverage required for different accommodation types, when emergency lighting is needed and how often they should be tested and the tests are recorded. In Eastleigh Borough Council we work to this as the minimum standard that we would accept for any rented accommodation.

Download the Lacors: Housing - Fire Safety document to find out how it applies to your rented property.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 will comes into effect on 1st October 2015. This new piece of legislation requires all private landlords, regardless of the type of rental property, to provide at least one working smoke alarm on every floor of their property as well as a carbon monoxide detector in rooms with a solid fuel appliance. Failure to comply with this new legislation may result in penalties of upto £5,000.

Download the Q&A booklet for landlords and tenants for more advice on these new regulations.

Any new hardwired fire alarm & detection system or emergency lighting installed in a property or any new additions to an existing system must be installed by a competent, qualified and Part P affiliated engineer and the correct certification issued. Examples of the types of certificates that should be issued can be downloaded below.

Please note the exact layout and look of the certificates will differ between the various affiliation bodies an electrician can belong to but the information required to be recorded will be the same on all of them.

Example Fire Alarm Design, Installation & Commissioning Certificate (NICEIC)

Example Emergency Lighting Completion Certificate (NICEIC)

It is good practice for landlords of any rented accommodation to carry out a fire risk assessment for their property. For more information and guidance on how to carry out a fire risk assessment visit Hampshire Fire & Rescue - Business Fire Safety.

 

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Electrics

You must be able to prove, should the Council, tenant or any other interested party enquire, the safety and compliance of the electrics within your rented property. The only way to satisfactorily do this is to provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report. The report can only be issued by a competent, qualified and Part P affiliated electrician.

It is valid for a maximum of a 5 year period after which the electrics must be re-inspected and a new report issued. A copy of any report must be provided to your tenants. You are also responsible for any plug in appliances that are provided with the property as part of the tenancy and these must also be tested regularly.

Download the Electrical Safety First's Guide for Landlords for more detailed information.

 

Gas 

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All gas installations and appliances are required to be checked and maintained every 12 months by a qualified Gas Safe registered contractor and a Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate be issued. A copy of any new certificate must be provided to the tenants within 28days of it being issued and any new tenants must be provided with a copy of the current certificate at the start of their tenancy.

For more information either visit the Gas Safe or Health & Safety Executive websites or download their respective Landlord Guides below

Gas Safe - Landlords' Gas Safety Responsibilities

HSE - A Guide to Landlords' Duties: Gas Safety

 

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The HHSRS is the system set by government by which rented properties are assessed on whether they meet the standards necessary and are safe to be lived in.

The HHSRS has 29 hazard types that a property is assessed in relation to. These include:

  • Damp and mould growth
  • Excess cold
  • Structural collapse
  • Electrical hazards
  • Fire
  • Personal hygiene, sanitation & drainage
  • Lighting
  • Falls on the level
  • Falls between levels
  • Collision & entrapment

....and many more

The main purpose of the HHSRS is to help enforcement officers assess the likelihood of hazards occurring in a property and the severity of harm if it did. By doing this we can split potential hazards that are found to be present into 2 types. Category 1 hazards are those where the likelihood and/or the severity of harm is so great that action must be taken to remove or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level and the Council has a statutory duty to ensure this is done. Category 2 hazards are of a lesser severity but nevertheless still pose a hazard and as such action may be required to remove or reduce the hazard.

As a landlord if you have an understanding of the areas the HHSRS covers and looks at, then you can start to view your properties in this way and manage them or carry out repairs at an early stage. Thus, reducing the Council's need for enforcement.

Download the HHSRS Guide for Landlord's to learn more