THE FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS (FIRE)
(SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1988 (AS AMENDED)
All upholstered furniture made after 1950 is included within these Regulations. The furniture covered by the Regulations includes sofas, settees, seat pads, beds, head boards, pillows, arm chairs, scatter cushions, futons, mattresses and bean bags, but not curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets) and mattress covers. To comply with the Regulations these types of furniture must be fire resistant and in most cases carry a permanent label to this effect. To be ‘Fire Resistant’ most furniture and upholstery must have passed an ‘ignitability test’ specified in the Regulations.
If you ask us to let or manage your property, you must remove any furniture which does not comply with these Regulations before the tenancy begins. Any replacement furniture you place in the property must comply with the Regulations. There are heavy penalties imposed by these regulations on landlords who do not comply with them. The penalties for noncompliance include a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or up to a £5000 fine. You can obtain further guidance on these regulations from your local Trading Standards office.
THE GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1998
These regulations came into effect on the 31st October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of the landlords of domestic properties that ALL ‘Gas Appliances’ and Gas Installation Pipe work owned by him are checked for safety at least once a year by a member of the Gas Safe Register and that accurate records are kept of those safety inspections and any work carried out. These records must be provided to the tenant. These regulations also apply to new properties. ‘Gas Appliances’ - includes any fitted gas appliance, for example Central heating system, Gas heaters, Gas fires, Gas cookers. ‘Gas Installation Pipe work’ includes gas pipe work, valves, regulators and meters.
Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord. Under the Regulations any appliance that does not conform to the regulations can be disconnected. Failure to comply with these regulations may jeopardise the life of your tenant and lead to prosecution with penalties of imprisonment or fines up to £5000.
THE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994
The above regulations impose an obligation on the Landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances and installations left as part of a let property are safe. We recommend that all electrical appliances in let properties are regularly checked and serviced. Failure to comply with these regulations may jeopardise the life of your tenant and lead to prosecution with penalties of imprisonment or fines up to £5000.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES (EPCS)
From 1st October 2008 any residential property offered to let must have an EPC. This is prepared by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor who visits the property and prepares a detailed report which covers such elements as glazing, insulation and heating. The property is then given a rating similar in format to those seen on refrigerators and washing machines. The certificate is designed to give prospective tenants information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of the building so that they may compare it to others on the market. We can arrange the EPC and ensure your compliance with the new regulations using a reputable organisation. The majority of our clients choose the ‘Letting and Management’ option, as this provides a complete service from start to finish.