Rental Legislation

Rental Legislation

Gas Safety Inspections

WHAT ARE GAS SAFETY INSPECTIONS?

Every property that has a gas supply requires an annual gas safe inspection. These are carried out to ensure all gas sources and appliances in your home are safe and operating in line with health and safety required standards (HSE)

The engineers will carry out the following process:

  • Check for damage on or around the appliance and pipework and make you aware of any problems before the inspection is carried out.
  • A series of visual and/or operational checks and tests will be carried out on all gas appliances and pipework in the property to check they are compliant with gas safety regulations.
  • A visual risk assessment of other appliances in the home if applicable

The gas engineer has to be gas safe registered and will be able to provide you with paperwork if asked. If they cannot provide you with this paperwork or certification, do not let them carry out the inspection.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROPERTY FAILS ITS GAS SAFETY INSPECTION?

The registered engineer will put a reason for the failure on the report and issue this to the landlord/letting agent for remedy within a certain time frame.

CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

In addition to the above, every property with a gas supply requires a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a solid fuel supply. If these are not present upon a gas safety, it will be failed instantly. The alarms should be checked at the beginning of every new tenancy.

WHO NEEDS A GAS SAFETY AND A CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM?

Simple answer to this one….everyone! if the property you are living in or own has a gas supply then you need the above.

Need more information? Give us a call in the office and we can recommend trusted, local tradesmen who are registered on the Gas Safe Register.

Legionella Risk Assessments

WHAT IS LEGIONNAIRES?

Legionnaires disease is an infection of the lungs you can contract from inhaling tiny droplets of water containing bacteria from things like air conditioning, showers, taps, toilets and hot tubs. It is quite uncommon but can be serious. The symptoms are very similar to flu; High temperature, fever, headache, muscle pain, dry cough.

The bacteria can have numerous reasons for being in the water system including; water not kept at correct temperature in a tank, water has not been disturbed for more than two weeks, corrosion of water tanks. Bacteria can only multiply between certain temperatures, they lie dormant below 20 degrees centigrade and do not survive above 60 degrees centigrade.

Elderly people, young babies, smokers, asthmatics, alcoholics and people with cancer, kidney problems or respiratory problems are at a higher risk. However, by taking the correct steps you can ensure you stay safe.

HOW CAN I ENSURE OUR PROPERTY IS SAFE?

Your landlord or letting agent should be carrying out 2 yearly risk assessments on the property to ensure that the water supply is safe and does not contain the legionella bacteria. A competent person should routinely check, inspect and clean the system in accordance with the risk assessment.

As a tenant, there are ways you can help to keep the water supply safer.

  • Flush through all showers and taps for around 10 minutes following any period of non use e.g if you have been on holiday or if a certain room has not been used in a while.
  • Keep all taps and shower heads free from limescale/mould or algae growth and clean them regularly.
  • Keep the hot water on your boiler system at a minimum of 60 degrees centigrade or higher but beware of scalding.

**YOU CANNOT CONTRACT THE LEGIONELLA BACTERIA FROM DRINKING WATER**….it has to be inhaled to cause any problems.

We ensure all of our properties have a risk assessment carried out every 2 years by a competent assessor and steps taken where necessary.

EPC's/MEES

From April 2016, The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 will bring into force Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the residential and commercial private rented sector.

The earlier landlords act, the more time they will have to ensure their housing stock is up to the required standards, especially in the case of commercial properties where change can take significantly longer to action.

Essentially Landlords with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating below an E will be required to undertake work to improve the energy performance of the property; those who do not could face heavy penalties.

KEY DATES

Key dates below underline when the regulations will be enforced, with the regulation scope expanding over a 5 year period.

1 April 2016
ALL domestic tenants have the right to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties. This applies to domestic properties let under longer term assured and regulated tenancies. Landlords will be unable to refuse consent to a tenants request to make energy efficiency improvements.

1 April 2018
It will be unlawful to grant new leases of residential or commercial property with an EPC rating below an ‘E’

1 April 2020
The regulation will expand to apply to ALL residential privately rented property which are required to have an EPC.

1 April 2023
This will be extended to include ALL existing commercial leases.