Your guide to keeping private rental properties safe
When managing your landlords' properties, you may be responsible for ensuring certain measures are in place to stay compliant and keep your tenants' safe, including gas, fire, and electrical checks, and energy efficiency inspections.
Being a property manager is not as simple as just letting people move into your landlord's property in exchange for payment. You need to ensure that any property you fully manage and let on your landlords' behalf is safe and in good condition; as a result you have a number of responsibilities to your tenants.
Before you rent out your landlords' property, you will need to carry out certain checks on it to ensure that it is safe for tenants to occupy. You are responsible for the following areas:
Your landlord's property needs to be free of avoidable fire risks and there must be an escape route in case a fire does break out. You should also ensure that fire alarms are fitted and in some cases provide fire extinguishers (depending on the size of the property).
You must also provide a smoke alarm on each storey and provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that has a solid fuel burner. You will also need to have a risk assessment carried out to ensure that each property is fully compliant with the necessary fire safety regulations, as well as making sure that the furnishings and furniture are fire safe.
You can read more about the latest fire safety updates in England and Wales in Goodlord's guide to the Fire Safety Act 2021.
If you fully manage your landlords' properties, you'll likely be responsible for arranging an annual inspection of any gas equipment or appliances supplied with the property and ensuring that any necessary maintenance is carried out.
These tasks will need to be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You will need to provide a copy of this gas safety check to your landlord's tenants before they move in, or within 28 days of the safety check being carried out.
You can read more about your gas safety obligations in this guide.
You must ensure that the electrical system of your landlord's property, as well as any electrical appliances included, are safe to use. Since 1 June 2020, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 have been in force and require five-yearly inspections of electrical installations and inspection reports to be supplied to tenants.
You can read more about your electrical safety obligations or download a free guide to share with your landlords.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
As well as the above safety checks, you will also need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your landlord's property, which provides information about its energy efficiency.
Landlords or their agents are responsible for arranging an annual inspection of any gas equipment or appliances you provide on the property and ensuring that any necessary maintenance is carried out.
To get one, you need to arrange for a domestic energy assessor to visit the property and carry out an evaluation. They will then provide an EPC, which you should show to your tenants at the outset of their tenancy and on each renewal.
As of 1 April 2018, all private rental properties should have an energy efficiency rating of “E” or above before granting a new tenancy or a renewal of a tenancy. As of 1 April 2020, all existing tenancies must have an energy efficiency rating of “E” or above.
The legal advice in this article was provided by DAS Law, part of the DAS UK Group. This information is for general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities and is not formal legal advice as no lawyer-client relationship has been created.