Regulations Covering Rented Properties

If you are planning to let a residential property you will need to comply with the regulations below:

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended)

Most new furniture is marked with a display label (a triangle with a smoking cigarette) to show that it complies with this regulation. There should also be a permanent and non-detachable label stating compliance. Bed bases and mattresses are not required to bear a permanent label but compliance will be indicated if the item has a label stating that it meets BS7177. The aim of the regulation is to improve safety by requiring all furniture and furnishings in rented properties to meet the “match test” or “cigarette test”.

The regulations apply to all upholstery and upholstered furniture and loose fittings, permanent or loose covers including: beds, mattresses, pillows, armchairs and scatter cushions.

You therefore need to replace non-conforming items or let your property on an unfurnished / part furnished basis. Carpets and curtains are not covered by the regulations.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

For all rental property, the regulations require that work to gas appliances and fittings shall be carried out by a competent and suitably qualified engineer who is CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) registered. Furthermore gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and thereafter at least every twelve months by a competent engineer (i.e. CORGI registered gas installer). There are further regulations concerning the fitting of new appliances which are beyond the scope of this article.

A copy of the safety check record or certificate must be given to any new tenant before the tenant occupies the premises to which the record relates.   Also, a copy of the new record must be given to each existing tenant within 28 days of the annual check.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

The regulations state that all electrical equipment supplied is safe.   However there is little detail in the act as to what the definition of “safe” is.

The least that you need to do is to check all appliances between tenancies for obvious signs that they are unsafe such as frayed wiring or badly fitted plugs. If you are letting a property for the first time it is advisable to ensure that any electrical items supplied are new or carry or are marked with the appropriate CE symbol. The Regulations require that any equipment supplied in the EEC after 9th January 1995 shall be marked with the appropriate CE symbol

Where the safe use of the equipment relies upon the user being aware of any particular characteristic the information should be provided, normally in the form of an instruction book.

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