All countries have varying safety standards in place. Some may require more than others, but it’s impossible for any of them to require nothing from people who own properties and lease them. This goes for both residential and commercial properties. People will use both, and these people need to be protected.
But in terms of leasing a residential property, landlords have to comply with safety regulations that are put in place to protect them and their tenants. There’s no denying that ticking all the boxes in your safety clearance checklist isn’t a fun thing to do because there’s a ridiculous but justifiable amount of paperwork and site inspections involved. They’re no fun either.
These certificates are required to keep your business—which is your property—from getting into encounters with safety inspectors, being subject to accidents and lawsuits, or worse, cause someone’s death due to improper maintenance. That’s the last thing you want as a property owner and a landlord.
To make sure the property you’re going to let to people is safe from potential safety hazards and subsequent lawsuits, here’s a list of the certificates you need to secure to let the tenancy commence:
1. Energy Performance Certificate
The Energy Performance Certificate or EPC is the United Kingdom’s most enforced certificate within its rental market. As the country is trying to make energy conservation a norm among its citizens renting and owning properties, they’re enforcing strict measures to monitor energy consumption. Failure to obtain a legitimate EPC before putting your property up for rent or sale in the market will lead you to pay a fine that amounts up to £5,000.
Besides going against established energy consumption regulations, having a valid EPC ensures that your property runs using efficient energy consumption. Homes or apartments that aren’t well insulated and ventilated are prone to consume more energy than well-ventilated and insulated ones. So, if you don’t want to prolong the process of securing an EPC, you better make sure your property is not prone to high energy consumption due to prolonged use of heaters and air conditioning systems.
2. Electrical Certificates
Before putting your property up for rent, it’s important to make sure your electrical wiring is installed, stored, and connected properly. They’ll be subject to inspections to secure electrical safety certifications, such as an EICR certificate. It’s an electrical installation condition report, a document produced after a thorough assessment of the electrical installations in your property. The ones who carry them out are qualified electricians or approved contractors.
Having the proper electrical certifications ensures that your property is free from exposed wires, malfunctioning appliances, and faulty electrical connections that can cause an electrical fire and put lives in danger.
Ensure that the appliances in your property are tested regularly. Full electrical safety inspections should be conducted at least every five years.
3. Gas Safety Certificate
According to safety regulations in the UK, landlords and other property owners must have their property inspected yearly for gas safety. It’s an inspection carried out by registered gas safe engineers.
The parts of your property that are subject to inspection are appliances, pipes, and vents. After the certified safety report comes out, you’re required to provide copies to your tenants.
4. Fire Safety
There isn’t a specific certification for fire safety in the UK, but generally, it’s an important part of ensuring a property’s safety from fire accidents. During fire safety inspections, smoke alarms are fitted and tested, along with putting carbon monoxide alarms in every room with solid fuel-burning appliances in place.
Furniture is also inspected for fire safety, meaning they should have the match and cigarette test stickers. Fire extinguishers are also provided and inspected. While there are no formal agencies in charge of fire safety checks, companies are licensed to conduct these inspections.
5. Legionella Risk Inspection
Within air conditioning systems, heating, and water pipes, deadly bacteria breed. Legionella is nasty, apart from being deadly. They’re the source of a pneumonia-type illness named Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever, a mild flu-like illness.
Unfortunately, to the eyes of non-professionals, they’re undetectable. That’s why risk assessment is required for all properties with air conditioning, heating, and water pipes, which is every property. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations oversees this inspection. So, if you don’t want yourself or your tenants to contract diseases, get your property inspected regularly.