The law requires landlords to maintain their property and undertake any major repairs that are required.
In addition, there are special rules that apply:
Landlords who are letting or re-letting their property for the first time are now required to present an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to tenants. Rea Estates can organise the provision of an EPC.
All residential landlords are required to ensure that gas appliances and flues are safe. This regulation is intended to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. All rental properties must have the following:
- A valid gas safety certificate from an approved gas engineer.
- Approved appliances and pipework. Gas Safe Register is responsible for the registration of gas engineers.
- An annual gas safety check. Tenants must be provided with an appropriate gas safety record and the landlord must keep gas safety records for a minimum of two years.
- Rea Estates also recommends that carbon monoxide detectors are installed in properties that have gas installations. This is a small price to pay for extra peace of mind.
Furniture and Furnishings
All furniture provided in a rental property must meet safety standards.
All soft furniture items must have a permanent label clearly stating that they are fire resistant.
Furniture manufactured after 1989 should comply with these regulations and will generally have a label showing compliance.
Electrical Equipment Safety
All electrical equipment supplied in a rental property must be safe to use.
Unlike gas appliances, there is no legal requirement to have an annual safety check. It is sensible to have appliances checked by an electrician, however.
Each item should be labelled to prove it has been tested and the date of testing written on the label.
Operating and safety instructions for all electrical equipment should be provided for tenants.
Properties built after June 1992 must have mains-operated smoke detectors fitted on each floor.
Although there is no current legislation requiring a smoke detector to be fitted in ordinary tenanted properties, doing so is generally considered the common law "duty of care," which means that the landlord could be held liable should a fire cause injury where no smoke detectors are fitted. It is strongly recommended that landlords fit one smoke alarm on each floor of the building.
Certificate of fitness
Any property built before 1 January 1945 (please note this date relates to the date of construction of the building and not the date of any subsequent conversion, for example, into apartments) will require a fitness inspection by the local council prior to obtaining a tenancy. Where required we will liaise with the Environmental Health Department of the local council and arrange necessary inspections. Further information is available at www.rentofficer-ni.gov.uk.