Landlord Requirements

When letting out your property, as a landlord there are many requirements that you must fulfil. Check out our handy top 10 landlord requirements for 2021 below:

1. Fully operational fire detection system

Did you know that it is a legal requirement to have a fully operational fire detection system installed in your property? As a landlord, the smoke alarms in your rental accommodation must be correctly installed by someone electrically trained, and fitted in all the correct locations.

Landlords must follow the Domestic Fire Alarm Regulations (BS5839-6:2019). This requires landlords to have;

  • A smoke detector installed on the escape routes for each floor, a detector in the lounge (or principal habitable room), and a heat detector in the kitchen.
  • New tenancy smoke alarm A landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

To find out more about smoke detectors, click here.

2. Portable appliance testing (PAT)

Under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016, Landlords must ensure appliances provided are ‘safe’. The best way to check they are safe is by doing a PAT test.

It is a legal requirement to ensure that all electrical equipment you provide in your rental accommodation is safe and properly maintained.

To be deemed as a competent PAT tester, the minimum requirements are;

  • A City & Guilds 2377-77 qualification.
  • The correct equipment to carry out the tests.
  • The ability to use the PAT testing equipment properly.
  • The ability to properly understand the test results.

To read more about PAT testing, click here.

3. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

From April 2021, every rental property in England must have a valid electrical safety certificate as per “The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

An electrical installation condition report (EICR), also known as a Periodic Inspection Check, is carried out to ensure the property is electrically safe for tenants.

This type of report is carried out to help to identify the following:

  • Integrity and degradation of the wiring
  • Damage to electrical accessories, including sockets and switches
  • Ensuring the property complies with relevant BS7671 regulations

To learn more about EICR certificates, click here.

4. Visual Inspection Report

A Visual Inspection Report (VIR) is an in-depth visual inspection of the fuse board and all accessories, such as sockets and switches, to identify any visible signs of defects, damage, or deterioration.

At NSI, we will assess the condition of all fixed electrics within your property. This includes:

  • Checks to all wiring, light fittings, socket-outlets, and the fuseboard/consumer unit.
  • An assessment of any visual signs of burning, overheating or damage.
  • Identifying and eliminating any potential safety hazards.
  • Checks to the electrical installation, to identify that there are no signs of modification or alterations during the tenancy period.

To read more about VIRs, click here.

5. Energy performance certificates

An energy performance certificate is needed whenever a property is, rented, built or sold.

EPCs contain information about the property’s energy usage and usual energy costs. It also includes suggestions for how to reduce your energy use and save money.

An EPC is valid for 10 years and gives the property an energy efficiency rating ranked from G (least efficient) to A (most efficient).

6. Gas safety checks 

As a landlord, you are required to ensure that all gas appliances and flues have an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This must be completed every 10-12 months.

When the test has been completed, you will receive a Landlord Gas Safety Record or Gas Safety certificate.

A record of this must be provided to your tenants within 28 days of the check, and new tenants immediately when their tenancy begins.

7. Fire safe furnishings

In furnished properties, furniture and upholstery items must either be manufactured from fire-resistant materials or be treated with fire retardant coatings by the manufacturer.

Furnishings and upholstery must:

  • Have a permanent manufacturer’s label as this will tell you the material used.
  • Items with upholstery must be filled with fire-resistant fillings.
  • Any furnishings need to pass the ‘cigarette test’ and the ‘match resilience test’. These ensure that the furniture will not ignite and pose a risk to life.

8. Carbon monoxide detector

Landlords must ensure that there are carbon monoxide detectors on the property. A carbon monoxide detector must be present in any room used as a living area where solid fuel is in use.

As gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, landlords are encouraged to ensure alarms are also installed in rooms with these.

The landlord should check these are in working order at the start of every new tenancy.

9. Heating

A property that cannot be maintained between 18oC and 21oC at reasonable cost to the occupier is classed as a cold home. Living in a cold home can cause serious health issues to tenants

A landlord must

  • Supply adequate heating in full working order
  • Ensure the property has adequate insulation, at a minimum EPC E rating
  • Ensure there are no broken doors and windows

10. Damp and mould

Damp and mould are significant issues due to the effect they can have on health issues.

Landlords have to:

  • Ensure the property has adequate ventilation
  • Combat any damp, if needed, by making repairs/changes to the properties structure or exterior if something is determined to be the source, such as a leaking gutter.

NSI operate nationally working alongside a vast array of letting, estate agents and private landlords to provide electrical testing and inspection services. In fact every single day, our award-winning service covers off 4 of the 10 check points above for you.

We even provide an amazing SAFE Certified package, which combines three services in just one appointment (Smoke Detector Testing, PAT Testing and VIR), with savings of over £100 per property. Click here to find out more.