Being a landlord, you have a legal obligation to make sure that the building you let is safe for the tenants to reside in. Generally speaking, gas and electrical systems as well appliances present the highest risk of damage. It is vital that you make certain that these systems are safe.

For gas installations:

It is essential that you ensure that every one of the fittings and flues are maintained properly and in a safe condition. This also means that you should have gas installations and appliances serviced every 12 months, and you must keep a record of the service being carried out

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You will want to have a gas safety check carried out on all gas appliances and flues yearly. A Gas safety certificate is a legal requirement. Ideally, check gas installations and appliances immediately before the start of any new tenancy, even when the gas safety certificate is still current.

Your managing agent should carry this out for you. Only a Gas Safe registered plumber or central heating engineer is qualified to repair or certificate anything attached to the gas system. For example, dealing with boilers, flues or cookers. Make certain that you keep a record of each safety check for 2 years. Your Gas Safe engineer will issue this certificate. You must also make sure you give a copy of the Gas Safe engineer’s safety check report and certificate to the tenants.

The statutory regulations are: Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.

For electrical installations:

While there is not a requirement by law to have the fixed wire electrical system checked for safety, it is good practice and quite often a requirement for a good property management agency to provide a Periodic Inspection Report. If the system is safe as well as in good condition, it will have 'Satisfactory Inspection' listed on the PIR document. A check every 5 years is usually deemed to be acceptable.

All properties built since June 1992 are bound by building regulations to have inter-connected mains operated smoke alarms fitted on every level of the property. In older properties this is not a requirement.

However, landlords are well advised to provide a minimum of a battery operated smoke alarm as a duty of care. When you fit battery-operated smoke alarms unfortunately, it becomes the landlord’s responsibility to test them regularly and for the batteries to be changed regularly. This makes installing a mains operated smoke alarm look more attractive and cost efficient in the long term.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 stipulate that all electrical equipment in tenanted residential properties must remain safe.

Any electrical equipment you provide is required to be in good working order and safe. E.g. kettles, cookers, microwaves, televisions and washing machines. Technically a PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) procedure should be carried out. This is a test for every appliance to make sure that it is safe. A sticker with the pass date is stuck onto it and a record kept.

For landlords with multiple properties this can be time consuming and expensive. Ideally keep the amount of electrical equipment you supply to the tenant at an absolute minimum.

I have worked in the plumbing industry for a long time, over Twenty years in fact. Most of my time I have spent working for a company called Plumbing Services London, and I have seen some pretty sites and some not so pretty sites.

Author's Bio: 

I enjoy writing about my work, specifically the DIY projects I carry out around my home.