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Safety

If your property is furnished you are required by law to ensure that all items included in the let are safe. For example, particular attention should be given to lawn mowers, ladders, garden equipment, anything with glass in it and equipment likely to be used by children i.e. play equipment, cots, high chairs, bunk beds etc.

Furniture

All upholstery, fillings and covers of furniture must comply with rules set out in the Furniture (Fire) (Safety) regulations 1988 as amended, except upholstered furniture made before 1950, in which case proof of this will be required. Labels to look for bear the numbers BS7177 on bed bases and mattresses. If in doubt at all as to whether any of your furnishings comply then please ensure these items are removed as they cannot be included in the letting.

Almost any upholstered furniture, whether new or second-hand is covered by safety standards, including: bed bases, chairs, cushions, cots, divans, headboards, highchairs, mattresses, pillows, playpens, settees/sofas.

All upholstered furniture must comply with stringent fire safety standards introduced in 1988 except upholstered furniture made before 1950. If your property was let for the first time after 1st March 1993 any furniture replaced or added after this date must comply with the standards. If the property was let before 1st March 1993 and your present tenants occupied the accommodation before 1st January 1997 then you do not need to replace the furniture until a new tenant occupies the accommodation.

How can you comply? Look for a permanent label which should be attached to all new upholstered furniture made since 1988 - see labels below. Mattresses and bed bases do not have to have a permanent label, however, to ensure they meet the standards you should look for a label stating they comply with BS7177. If you cannot find these labels you will not know whether the furniture complies. Our advice is not to use such items. The regulations came fully into effect on 1st March 1990, so anything bought new since that date should comply. Similarly anything re-upholstered since should comply.

GAS REGULATIONS - IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 16 (I) HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK AS AMENDED BY GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATIONS AND USE) REGULATION 1994.

In accordance with legislation it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that all gas appliances have been serviced by an approved inspector (ie Gas Safe registered) within the past twelve months prior to any tenancy beginning. If this is not the case then we can arrange for this to be done for you. Please note that all gas appliances thereafter must be inspected and serviced annually and a 'Landlord's Certificate' issued.

Gas Appliances

New and second-hand gas appliances must be safe and have clear instructions and warnings appropriate to their safe use.

Installation and use of gas and liquid petroleum gas systems and appliances need to be checked at least once a year by a business registered CORGI plumber. Records of any tests and repairs should be kept. The Health and Safety Executive enforce law covering gas installation (tel 0800 300363).Should we not have the required Gas Safety Certificate in our possession by 1 week before the commencement of the tenancy we reserve the right to organise one on your behalf the cost of which will be deducted from your rental payment (charges vary depending on the amount of appliances in the property).

Electrical

It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that all wiring and electrical appliances are in safe working order. If required we can arrange to have this done for you.

Electrical Appliances

Electrical appliances must meet current safety requirements and be examined regularly by a qualified electrician, and appliance operating instructions provided. All plugs should have the correct fuse fitted and have sheathed live and neutral pins and mains leads should be colour coded. The Landlord and Tenant Act requires Landlords to ensure that the electrical installation is safe and that you have complied with your 'duty of care' to your Tenant. Failure to comply can result in criminal prosecution. It is recommended that an electrical safety check (including PAT testing of appliances) is undertaken every 12 months.

Other Products

Many other products whether new or second hand could pose a hazard. For example: bunk beds, garden equipment, glass topped tables, high chairs, ironing boards, ladders, lawnmowers, play equipment.

The law requires you do all you reasonably can to ensure these items are safe. These products should be carefully assessed. The sort of things you should look for are:

  • Ladders should not have loose rungs or weak supports
  • Lawnmowers should not have loose guards or blades
  • Play or garden equipment should not be defective in any way
  • Slats on bunkbeds should not be loose or too far apart
  • Check the stability of oil heaters and appropriate warning labels
  • Check stability of high chairs etc

Where appropriate, checks should be regularly carried out by an expert. If you have any doubts replace old items with new.

General Product Safety

The GPS Regs 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting it would include the structure of the building and its contents. You should check for leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc and leave instruction manuals, especially for high risk items such as lawnmowers etc.