Incorrectly installed or badly maintained gas appliances in properties can pose a significant danger to the occupants. Each year there are double figure fatalities from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Statistics show the most vulnerable group of people being those who live in rented accommodation.
Carbon monoxide can be released into a room because of a blocked flue or through poor/inadequate ventilation for the appliance. Should the carbon monoxide build up to a certain level it only takes 30 minutes for the poisonous gas to kill the occupants.
The original regulations were introduced in 1994 but there have been three main amendments since this time. The current regulations came into force on 31st October 1998.
Penalties & Enforcements
Maximum penalty for non-compliance is six months imprisonment or a fine of £5,000 or both. This is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Annual Testing – Landlords Gas Safety Inspection
The regulation requires that an annual check is carried out in all rented properties with gas appliances. This also includes any associated gas pipe work leading to the appliance, and any flue leading from the appliance. These checks must be carried out by a suitably qualified engineer. The engineer or his employer must be Gas Safe registered.
The certificate that is issued by the engineer must be kept for a period of two years. A current copy of the certificate must be given to all tenants before they move into the property. Also a copy of any subsequent gas safety certificate should be given to all current tenants within 28 days of the date of the check.
Brookes Hall Lettings can arrange for the annual gas safe certificate to be carried out on your behalf at a competitive rate. We will annually send a reminder letter to the Landlord around 20 days prior to the new certificate being due.
Many fatalities due to domestic fires starting when soft furnishings catch fire are attributed to the poisonous fumes that are given off by the manmade fibres in the coverings and foams. The regulations make clear that furniture must be compliant and can be identified by display labels. There are two types of labels: Display Labels – which furniture will carry at the point of sale, and Permanent Labels – all new furniture (except bed-bases and mattresses) and cover for furniture must carry permanent non detachable labels.
The main provisions are:
The regulations do not apply to the following:
Antique furniture or any furniture made before 01st January 1950, bed-clothes (including duvets), loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases and sleeping-bags, curtains and carpets.
Penalties & Enforcement
Maximum penalty for non compliance is a fine of £5,000 and six months imprisonment. Enforcement is by the local trading standards office.
The Health and Safety Executive have estimated that in a twelve month period there are around 2,000 fires caused by faulty electrical appliances. The regulations require that all appliances or equipment supplied must therefore be safe.
All electrical equipment supplied must be safe. The only way to ensure this is by employing a qualified electrician to test the equipment before the property is let. Having said that there is no requirement under the current regulations for a certificate of testing to be provided and neither is there a requirement for the use of a registered electrician. However suitable instruction booklets, in English, should be provided for the user.
Penalties & Enforcement
Maximum penalty for non-compliance is a fine of £5,000 and six months imprisonment. Enforced by the local trading standards office.
General Product Safety Regulations 1994
This regulation imposes two main requirements – 1. The product supplied must be safe, 2. The supplier (Landlord in this case) should provide the consumer (tenant in this case) with relevant information regarding the risks with the product.
These should be avoided in rented accommodation, however should one be supplied then it must have an automatic ‘snuffing’ or self-extinguishing device which operates whenever the heater is tipped or knocked over. Paraffin heaters must also be clearly marked with safety warnings.
All properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains-powered, inter-linked smoke detectors/alarms. There is no legal requirement for properties built before this date to have smoke detectors, however it is highly recommended. Battery-powered smoke detectors are economical to install.
To be fitted to all open flame or other heating appliances where there is a danger of touching a hot element.
Houses in Multiple Occupation
Under the Housing Act 2004, a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) means a building, or part of a building (e.g. a flat):
And is occupied by more than one household as their only or main residence, or, as a refuge by persons escaping domestic violence, or, during term time by student, or, for some other purpose that is prescribed in regulations
And the households comprise of families (including single persons and co-habiting couples (whether or not of the opposite sex) or, any other prescribed relationship, more than two single persons (or any other exemptions in the Act).
The term Household is defined in section 258 of the Housing Act. It includes the following:
If you have a question, feel free to email your question below or phone us on
01242 257 675 and we would be happy to help.