Rented Property Safety Advice

Unfortunately your home is the place where accidents are most likely to occur. It is therefore important to make you aware of some of the steps you can take to ensure everything is as safe as it can be. In a rented property in particular, the line between Landlord or Tenant responsibility can often be unclear and so we have outlined below exactly where the responsibility lies.

Gas safety inspections

Under the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Landlords are responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances in a rented property are safe. As part of this requirement, they must arrange for an annual safety inspection to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer on each gas appliance. When an inspection has been carried out, a copy of the certificate must be given to the Tenant within 28 days of the check being completed, or a copy given to any new Tenant before they move in.

It is the Tenant’s responsibility to allow access to the engineer to conduct these inspections. After all, they are just trying to keep you and your family safe. Whilst appointments can often be re-arranged to a more convenient time, they cannot be postponed for too long as the Landlord will be working to a deadline when the current certificate for the property expires.

Before moving into your chosen rented property, TTA will ensure we have already received a current, valid gas safety certificate. TTA Relocation keep a record of all gas safety expiry dates for the properties we manage. Reminders are sent to the Landlord/ Managing Agent so that we can liaise with them to make sure the inspection is carried out prior to the expiry date. All copies of the certificates are held on file.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

In England, as of October 2015, Landlords are required to install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties (The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015). Landlords are legally obliged to ensure that the detectors are appropriately installed and in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy. This is part of the Government’s plan to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector.

Smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property where there is a room used wholly, or partly, as living accommodation. Carbon monoxide alarms must also be fitted in any room where a solid fuel is burnt (wood, coal, biomass, including open fires).

On the start date of the tenancy, the Landlord, or his appointed agent, will need to test each smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. They will be required to demonstrate that they are in working order. Please note that the start date of the tenancy is the date as stipulated in the Tenancy Agreement, even if the Tenant is not moving in until a later date. When a tenancy is renewed, Landlords do not need to check the alarms again.

However, it is very important to note that after the start of the tenancy, it is the Tenant’s responsibility to ensure the alarms are still working and to replace any batteries. If an alarm becomes faulty and it is not just a case of changing the battery, the Tenant must inform the Landlord as it is then his responsibility to ensure it is replaced as soon as possible.

As part of our due diligence TTA will always conduct the following to ensure compliance:

  • Property checks– the team of TTA counsellors will check the appropriate alarms are installed and test they are working (where possible) at any home visits including those conducted at renewal
  • Documentation– the existence of smoke alarms will form part of our offer to the Landlord and is stated within the Tenancy Agreement
  • Pre-Tenancy checks– our inventory clerks (where possible) will confirm at the check in that the alarms are in working order
  • Occupier reminders– we will remind occupiers to check the alarms and replace the batteries on a regular basis, especially at renewal

Curtains and blinds

Under new EU 2014 standards, Landlords are responsible for ensuring that all new curtains and blinds fitted in a rented property are child-safe by design or fitted with the appropriate built-in safety devices by an approved professional.

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Easy ways to modify your curtains/blinds so they are safe for little ones

Whilst the new legislation does not cover blinds and curtains fitted prior to 28th February 2014, The British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) do recommend that where possible existing blinds are made safe. As you can see from the images above, only slight modifications are needed to bring the curtains and blinds in line with the legislation.

As a matter of course TTA have requested these changes are made for all the properties we manage. At home visits the TTA counsellors have been checking all curtains and blinds accordingly. From our experience, when approached, Landlords and their agents have been willing to make the necessary adaptations. For families with young children, we would highly recommend approaching the Landlord/Agent to request these changes.

If you require further information or need advice on any of the above, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Contact us

Give us a call on +44(0)1932 881051 or fill in the form below to make an enquiry.


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