As a landlord in London, it is your responsibility to make sure that the properties you rent out are safe and free of any potential hazards, ready for the arrival of tenants. This includes things checking your properties for hidden dangers such as gas leaks, faulty electrical wiring and the very real risk of asbestos. Doing a thorough property check will help you to avoid any number of future problems, including an asbestos claim from an unhappy tenant.
Asbestos use was very popular in the construction industry during the 70s, this is particularly true in London, an area that saw a lot of growth during that time. However, the material, highly desirable among building companies for its insulative, lightweight properties, was found to cause serious health problems, including several types of cancer. Despite the use of asbestos being banned in the 90s, the hazardous material remains prevalent throughout many homes in Britain.
As well as the moral obligation you have to a tenant, it is also your legal responsibility to check your properties for the hidden danger of asbestos. A rented property is considered a business and therefore must adhere to the The Control of Asbestos Regulations of 2006, regulatory guidelines formed under the framework of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.
The regulations state that ‘there is a legal requirement to manage asbestos in all non-domestic properties.’ This means that it is necessary for you, as the landlord, to carry out an asbestos survey of any property that you intend to rent out, as well as coming up with an appropriate management plan to deal with the discovery of asbestos.
Checking the wiring in your properties is another responsibility you have as a landlord. Faulty wiring not only poses a the threat of an electric shock, it is a fire hazard too. Negligent landlords are at risk of being issued fines or even prison terms if one of their properties is found to contain faulty wiring. To fulfill your side of the bargain, you need to make sure that your housing is checked over by a registered electrician, and has regular periodic checks thereafter.
As a landlord, you are also obligated to ensure gas safety in your rented properties. You need to check that any housing that you rent out meets the guidelines set out in The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. This means ensuring the maintenance of flues, appliances and pipes, as well as making sure that your properties get annual gas checks.
As a general rule, it is also important that any work you have carried out on your property is done by registered professionals. This will not only help to ensure that the work completed to a high standard, it will also give you a strong legal footing should any issues arise.
Doing things by the book can be rather arduous and energy sapping, however, it will make your life a lot easier in the long run.Read More →