There are an ever increasing number of regulations that you should be aware of when letting your property. As managing agents, we will of course ensure that your property and tenancy agreement are in accordance with current legislation at all times.
Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
All new tenancies must comply with these regulations which require that:
- (a) all upholstered furniture (e.g. beds, sofas, armchairs) must have fire resistant filling material.
- (b) upholstered furniture must pass a cigarette resistance test (except mattresses, bed bases, pillows and cushions)
- (c) permanent covers must pass a match resistance test.
Furniture manufactured after the introduction of the regulations in 1988 should all have labels attached. There are a few exemptions to the regulations, notably that they do not apply to bed clothes, carpets or curtains. Further details are available on request.
Gas safety (Installation and use) Regulations 1994
All gas appliances within the property must be inspected, and generally serviced, at least once a year by a qualified Gas-safe gas engineer who will check not only the appliances but also the integrity of the supply and that the regulations regarding ventilation and flues etc. are complied with. On request, he will issue a Gas Safety Inspection Certificate which should be kept so that it is available to tenants or prospective tenants for inspection.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These require that electrical appliances and the electrical supply are safe. It is highly recommended that an electrical safety certificate be issued at the start of the first tenancy, and renewed every five years thereafter.
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
It is generally the responsibility of the Landlord to keep in good repair the external structure of the property including such items as drains and gutters, and internally, central heating and the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation.
It is advisable that two be fitted prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
In accordance with the Housing Act 2004 there are rules concerning the holding of tenants’ deposits. The TDS requires that any deposit taken from a tenant or tenants under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must now be protected.
We are members of The Dispute Service Ltd., this means that we will be able to hold the deposits for you. The scheme requires us to register all deposits received and to pay the necessary premiums and membership fees. At the end of the tenancy, the landlord/agent must endeavour to agree with the tenant how the deposit is to be divided. If no agreement can be reached about how much of the deposit should be returned, there will be a service to help resolve disputes, offered by the scheme which is protecting the deposit. There is no charge for this service as it is included in the cost of joining the scheme. The parties are not obliged to use this service as each has the right of redress through the courts if preferred.
There is a nominal fee to cover our administrative expenses and the cost of insurance and fees. This will amount to £35.00 + VAT per new tenancy regardless of the number of tenants. The fee will only apply when we receive a new deposit on your behalf.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
All rental properties that are being offered for let now require an Energy Performance Certificate to show to prospective tenants.
EPCs look similar to the energy labels found on domestic appliances such as fridges. The EPC will rate the environmental impact of rental properties on a scale of A-G where A is the most efficient.
We will therefore need to obtain an EPC before we can market your property. If you do not have one already then we can arrange for the survey to be carried out. The cost of this will be £85.00 + VAT per property regardless of the number of bedrooms. The certificate is valid for 10 years.