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20- Landlords Guide to Regulations Page

Landlords Guide to Regulations

At Rentolease we are able to help you ensure you as a landlord meet all current and future regulations.
 
The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
Energy Performance Certificate
Tenant Information Pack
HSE Legislation on control of legionnaires' disease
PRHP Smoke alarm provision and Electrical Inspection Condition Report 
This guide explains the implications and requirements of the various legislation that currently applies to rented residential property. It is intended for guidance purposes only and is not an authoritative statement of the law. Should you require further clarification you are advised to contact the appropriate authorities direct.
The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations
 
The above regulations were amended in 1993 and have set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is now an offence to “supply” in the course of a business any furniture that does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a let residential property. We understand that is does not strictly apply to a landlord letting his own home for a “temporary” period and not in the course of a business although the regulations do not specifically clarify this point. It does apply to landlords letting a “second property” or any other letting as an investment.

The regulations apply to: sofas, beds, bedheads, children's furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture and other similar items.

The regulations do not apply to: curtains, carpets, bed-clothes (inc. duvets) and mattress covers.

Any furniture manufactured after March 1990 is likely to comply but if the appropriate labels are not on the furniture, compliance is in doubt then checks should be made with the manufacturer.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS MAY JEOPARDISE THE LIFE OF YOUR TENANT AND LEAD TO PROSECUTION WITH PENALTIES OF IMPRISONMENT OR FINES UP TO £5,000.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
 
These regulations came into effect on the 31 October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of landlords of domestic properties that ALL “Gas Appliances” and “Gas Installation Pipework” owned by him are checked for safety at least once a year by British Gas or a member of the Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) and that accurate records are kept of those safety inspections and any work carried out. These records must be available, upon request, for inspection by any tenant.

“Gas Appliances” - include any fitted gas appliance, for example;-

Central Heating System
Gas Heaters         
Gas Fire
Gas Cookers

“Gas Installation Pipework” - includes gas pipework, valves, regulators and meters.  Faulty equipment can lead to death and conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord. Under the regulations any appliance that does not conform to the regulations can be disconnected.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE REGULATIONS MAY JEOPARDISE THE LIFE OF YOUR TENANT AND LEAD TO A PROSECUTION WITH PENALTIES OF IMPRISONMENT OR FINES UP TO £5,000.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
 
 

The above regulations impose an obligation on the landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances left as part of a let property are tested for earthing, insulation and leakages. Cabling, fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary to the correct rating for that particular appliance.

Other legislation covering electrical installations is currently in force and in order to avoid prosecution, we recommend that all electrical appliances in let properties are regularly checked and serviced.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 - Smoke Alarms

In terms of the housing Scotland Act landlords must ensure that the property has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

Any smoke alarm fitted must be mains powered, even if it is replacing a battery powered alarm. Existing smoke alarms installed before 3 September 2006 can continue to be used provided they are in good working order. Landlords should ensure that smoke alarms are regulary maintained and tested.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 – Standards

The landlord’s duty to repair and maintain applies to any tenancy of a property let for the purpose of human habitation.

A property meets the repairing standard if: -

(a) It is wind and water tight and in all other respects reasonably fit for human habitation (i.e. it meets the tolerable standard);
(b) The structure and exterior of the property including drains, gutters and external pipes are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order;
(c) The installations in the property, the supply of water, gas and electricity, sanitation, space heating and water heating are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order;
(d) Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the landlord are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order;
(e) Any furnishings provided by the landlord are capable of being used safely,for the purpose of which they are designed; and
(f) The property has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Scotland (Regulations) 2011


On 7th March 2011 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011 came into force. These Regulations will change the way in which you deal with deposits. From 2nd July 2012, you will be required to hand over the deposit to one of the approved Government Schemes who will hold the deposit until the end of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy you will need to agree with the tenant how the deposit should be allocated and advise the Scheme holding the deposit.  The Scheme will then repay the deposit in accordance with the agreement unless there is a dispute between the parties over the deposit allocation.

In these circumstances the Scheme will ask for evidence from all parties as to how they feel the deposit should be allocated and the Scheme will then carry out an adjudication process and issue a draft report for review by all involved. Once comments have been received then there will be a final decision and the Scheme will pay out the deposit in accordance with that decision. This means that there will be delays in landlords and tenants getting their deposits back, particularly if there is a dispute.
 
LANDLORDS GUIDE TO REGISTRATION
 

Landlord Registration: Since 30 April 2006, all private landlords in Scotland are required to register with their local authority.

This guide explains the implications and requirements of landlord registration in Scotland It is intended for guidance purposes only and is not an authoritative statement of the law. Should you require further clarification you are advised to contact the appropriate authorities direct.
 
What is Landlord Registration?

All landlords (with a few exceptions) are now required to register with their local authority, to ensure that they are a "fit and proper person" to let property.  It is an offence to let any house without being registered.

How do I apply?

Registration is simple.

You will be able to register online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk or get an application form from your local authority.

Which local authority should I register with?

You must register with each local authority in whose area you let property. If you own properties in more than one area, you will be able to apply online to register in all authorities in one application, and this will reduce the total fee that you will have to pay.

Rentolease manage my property what should I do?

Rentolease is an accredited letting agent and also an ARLA (Association of Residential letitngs Agents) agent. When registering you should provide our registration number relevant to each local authority

There will be a separate reference number for each local authority your agent is registered with. Please enter the correct one for the local authority where your property is located.

Our registration numbers are

SOUTH AYRSHIRE 24574/370/10160

EAST AYRSHIRE 24574/190/21280

NORTH AYRSHIRE 24574/310/21280

From here to registration

Complete registration form or apply online at www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk

Pay fee

Reply to any queries from the local authority

Sign and return printed application details
received from the local authority

Receive confirmation of registration from the local authority

(valid for 3 years)

ENERGY REPORT FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

Why are EPCs (Energy Reports) required?

Under Article 7 of the European Performance of Building Directive (2002/01/EC) an Energy Report is to be made available to all prospective tenants in residential property from the 4th January 2009.

The aim of the Energy Report is to provide tenants with the energy efficiency rating of the property and ultimately lower fuel bills and CO2 emissions.

What is an Energy Report?

The Energy Report will provide a rating from A – G and will show the current rating and the potential rating. The certificate will be similar to the style widely used at present to show energy efficiency of items such as fridges.

The Energy Certificate is a one-page document that requires to be positioned in the property where it can be readily accessed but not obscured. The best position is likely to be a gas or electric meter cupboard.

An energy report will last for a period of 10 years.

Who can prepare an Energy Report?

Energy Reports can only be provided by suitably qualified persons who are members of a professional organisation/institution that has signed a protocol with the Scottish Government.

Rentolease will instruct only surveyors who have undergone detailed training to provide you with the correct information and ensure that you comply with your legal requirements as a landlord.

What happens if I don’t have one?

The local trading standards office has the power to fine the landlord £500 for failure to have a valid EPC and thereafter insist that the correct document is obtained.

How can I get an Energy Report?

Obtaining an Energy Report is simple.  All you need to do is contact Rentolease and we shall instruct an Energy Report on your behalf with prices starting at only £50.  Likewise if you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call.
 
TENANT INFORMATION PACK
Q: What is the tenant information pack?

A: The tenant information pack is a standardised pack which provides information to tenants in privately rented housing. It talks about property condition, tenancy agreements, and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

The aim of the pack is to improve the accessibility of information available to tenants. It is recognised that good information may already be available to tenants and the pack is not intended to replace this, but to ensure that all tenants in privately rented homes receive the same minimum standard of information.

 Provision of Smoke detectors 

Scottish Government has produced revised statutory guidance on the requirements for smoke alarms. A copy of the revised statutory guidance is available on the PRHP website by visiting  www.prhpscotland.gov.uk.
 
However, the main points relative to smoke detectors are as follows. The revised Domestic Technical Handbook guidance states there should be at least:
One functioning smoke alarm in every room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes
One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings One heat alarm in every kitchenAll alarms should be interlinked
 
The number and position of the alarms will depend on the size and layout of the house. There should be at least one alarm on each floor.

The landlord should either install smoke and fire detectors that meet the standard set by building regulations or be able to justify why a lesser level of protection is appropriate in a particular house.

If there is a requirement for a particular house to meet more stringent standards, then these more stringent standards apply

An alarm should be installed in accordance with the recommendations contained in BS5839 Part 6 and the landlord should ensure the alarm is regularly maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. The fitting of a hard wired smoke alarm may require a building warrant and the relevant local authorities should be consulted.

 Q: Where can I find the tenant information pack?

A: The tenant information pack, which is a standardised document, is available on the Scottish Government website.

Q: What happens if a landlord does not provide a tenant information pack?

 Failure to provide a tenant information pack is a criminal offence. If a landlord does not provide the pack, they can be fined up to £500.


HSE Legislation On Control Of Legionnaires' Disease           



        

There has recently been a change in the HSE legislation regarding the control of legionnaires disease. This change now means the legislation applies to residential lettings, whereas before these were not covered due to their size.                       

The changes now mean that all residential lettings must have a legionella risk assessment carried out to assess the risk of the properties, which then allows for a suitable control scheme to be implemented.

Full details can be found in the revised Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance Legionnaires' Disease - The Control and Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems,  a copy of which can be downloaded here
 
 
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