Landlord Advice

What Certificates Do You Need To Rent Out Your Property

Buying a lent-out property can be a good investment. But being a landlord also comes with lots of responsibilities. One of the main things that you have to ensure while being a landlord is the safety of your property and your tenants. This is why landlords in the UK are legally obliged to provide certain certificates before renting out their property. Some of the landlords’ certificate requirements include a Gas Safety Certificate, an EPC rating and an Electrical Installation Condition Report. 

So, if you:

  • Are considering becoming a landlord;
  • Are preparing to lent out a property;
  • Have inherited a house you intend to rent out;

Then, keep on reading and we will get more in-depth with the landlord’s obligations and responsibilities.

Acquiring a Gas Safety Certificate

Let’s start with the Gas Safety Certificate. As a landlord, you are required to perform an annual checkup of the gas appliances in your property by a registered gas safe engineer. After this check, the results will be documented in a Gas Safety Certificate. 

This requirement is from the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. You as a landlord are legally obliged to check all gas appliances owned by you, but you don’t have to do that for any appliances that your tenants have brought into the property. 

Contact a gas safe registered engineer and he will come to your property and properly inspect all gas-powered appliances like a boiler, stove, etc. He will make sure they are functioning as intended and their operation is safe for your tenants.

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The Electrical Installation Condition Report

While the Electrical Installation Condition Report is not a certificate, it is still part of the landlord’s responsibilities to provide it to the tenants and local authorities. The proper operation and condition of the electrical installation in your property is a major part of the overall safety of the building. It is required by the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

To get this report, you must contact a specialist to come to your property and check the electrical installation. This includes the wiring, electrical outlets, light fittings and the fuse box. The technician will find out if there are any risks of electric shock and fire hazards, as well as any overloads in the system, defective electrical work and lack of earthing or bonding. 

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Fire safety is important

Of course, there are also fire safety regulations for landlords. This, again, is not a certificate but a requirement to fulfil if you want to rent out your property. A landlord must ensure that the tenants can escape easily if there is a fire, make sure there are no fire hazards, install fire alarms and smoke detectors, etc. These obligations are laid out in various Acts and Regulations such as:

  • The Housing Act 2004, including the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
  • Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005)
  • The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
  • Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

For Houses in Multiple Occupation, the landlord should do everything they can to ensure the safety of the tenants and the property, due to the local nature of enforcement and the increased chance of something going wrong, because of multiple unrelated persons living in the same building. 

In general, as a landlord, you should make sure you cover everything that you can about fire safety in your rental property, so you can be confident that if anything bad happens, your tenants will be safe and sound. 

Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed whenever a property is built, rented or sold. The EPC provides information about the energy consumption of your property and the typical energy costs. It also includes suggestions on how to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The property is assigned a grade from A, which is the highest, to G which is the lowest rating. Energy Performance Certificate for landlords must be at least E grade and it must be obtained before renting out a property. The EPC rating can always be improved with proper home insulation, lower-energy lighting and energy-efficient electrical goods.

As of 2018, the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations made this Certificate mandatory for rental assets. To obtain the EPC, an accredited assessor must be contacted to evaluate the dwelling. Any self-contained dwelling you own must have its own EPC. Once obtained, the Certificate is valid for the next 10 years and can be reused during this time. 

To find an accredited assessor in your area, you can check the government’s official register.

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Assessing the water system for risk of Legionella contamination

The legionella bacteria is a bacteria that can cause pneumonia and can be fatal. In the UK, landlords and business owners are legally obliged to make a Legionella risk assessment for their property to identify potential problems and, of course, ensure the safety of tenants and workers. The bacteria spreads mainly through water systems, and because of this, rental properties have a generally low risk of contamination due to the regular use of water in daily life. But still, a risk assessment is mandatory and should be performed by the landlord. 

The most reliable way of minimising the risk is to make sure the water in the water system stays at the proper temperature. Other measures a landlord can take is to flush out the system prior to letting the property (especially if it’s not been in use for a long time), clearing out any debris and making sure the pipework is in perfect condition. Always keep a record on any maintenance work you’ve done and assess the water system in your property on a regular basis.

Becoming a landlord certainly has its fair share of challenges. That’s why we’re here to make it easier! Head on over to our dedicated category for even more first-time landlord advice!

Get your certificates ready with our help

As we’ve already mentioned many times in this article, a landlord’s top priority should be the safety of their tenants and nobody doubts that. This is why there are so many legal obligations for landlords to provide certain safety certificates, or perform various inspections of systems, appliances, connections and fittings in their property. If you are a landlord, who is planning to rent out their property and need to acquire an EPC, EICR or a Gas Safety Certificate, consider booking professional inventory services with Fantastic Services. We work with certified technicians in your area, who can perform all the necessary checks and maintenance jobs before supplying you with the required certificates, hassle-free and in a timely manner. Learn more today! For your extra peace of mind, you can consider investing in a landlord boiler and central heating cover plan and keeping your rented property’s heating system in its best condition.

Need to get your property ready for new tenants?

Find a professional to take care of it.

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Takeaways

  • Landlords in the UK are legally obliged to provide three certificates, acquired from accredited experts – an EPC, EICR and a Gas Safety Certificate.
  • It is a legal obligation to ensure the fire safety of your property.
  • A landlord must assess the risk of Legionella contamination in the water system of their property regularly.

Being a landlord requires time, effort and thorough investigation. That is why you might find out our First-Time Landlord Guide quite helpful.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: Shutterstock / Pormezz

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