Health and safety
Your tenant has the right to live in a property that’s safe, free from hazards and in a good state of repair. From 20 March 2019, landlords must make sure their properties are ‘fit to live in’. That means you need to ensure:
- Gas equipment, such as a boiler, is installed by a Gas Safe-registered engineer and inspected annually.
- Electrical items supplied by you must be in good working order and safe to use, and that checks are carried out regularly – every 5 years is recommended.
- A working smoke alarm must be installed on each floor of the property.
- If the property has a wood-burning stove, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed in the relevant room.
- If the property is leased furnished, furnishings must comply with Fire and Furnishing regulations. Soft furnishings like pillows, mattresses and sofas must have a ‘Carelessness Causes Fire’ label.
- Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), if there’s rising damp and mould, caused by structural damage such as a leaking pipe or rotten window frame, it’s your responsibility to fix the problem.
- Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets must be in a sanitary condition.
- The landlord is responsible for dealing with pest infestations and carrying out any repairs needed to prevent pests getting into the property.
On the first day of a new tenancy, check that the smoke alarm and any carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.