Important Regulations

Fire Safety

There are a number of health and safety guidelines you must follow prior to letting out your property. These guidelines are in place to both protect you legally and alsoto ensure the safety of individuals / families who are residing within the property.

Fire-resistant furniture is an area where regulations are very strict in respect of rental accommodation. There are no "ifs" or "buts" when it comes to this and all landlords must make sure that all relevant items / furniture, meet the guidelines set under the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Amendment Regulations 1993. As a general guide whilst letting, furniture that was made prior to 1988 is unlikely to meet the required standards and should either be removed or replaced before letting the property. Failure for non-compliance of these regulations are substantial should an accident occur; including large fines and even prison sentences imposed on the landlord.

The following furniture / items that are generally found within a property and that contain upholstery should be checked:

  • Beds, sofa beds and futons (including headboards and mattresses)
  • Children's or nursery furniture
  • Patio / garden furniture that might be used within the property
  • Cushions, pillows (including chair cushions and sofas)

Please note the following furniture / items that are exempt from this legislation:

  • Duvets, pillow cases, blankets and sleeping bags
  • Curtains and carpets
  • Any furniture / items made prior 1950

In order to check items for the fire safety standards, look for a permanent label stating the regulation it conforms to. Please note that bed bases and mattresses are not required to have this label attached, but they should have a label stating compliance with ignitability tests. Look for the compliance code BS 7177 on these items for confirmation.

Gas Safety

A gas safety check has to be renewed (at the expense of the landlord) by law each and every year whilst tenanted. This check can only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer (please follow the link for more information regarding Gas Safe). Once a check has been carried out by a qualified engineer, a certificate will be provided to the landlord, with a copy also being provided to the tenant. A copy of this certificate must be provided to the tenant within 28 days of the checks taking place or prior to the tenants moving into the property.