Safety issues

Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards.

Gas Safety

Your landlord must:

  • make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • give you a copy of the gas safety check record before you move in, or within 28 days of the annual check thereafter.

Things to check: the gas fire should heat up properly, burn with a blue flame and shouldn’t be heat stained. If in doubt, contact your landlord.

Electrical safety

Your landlord must make sure:

  • the electrical system is safe, for example sockets and light fittings
  • all appliances they supply are safe, for example cookers and kettles

Things to check: do the plugs get hot when switched on; are there sufficient sockets; does the wiring look old or frayed. If in doubt speak to your landlord and ask for an electrical safety check to be undertaken.

Fire safety

Your landlord must:

  • follow safety regulations
  • provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example a coal fire or wood burning stove)
  • check you have access to escape routes at all times
  • make sure the furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe

Carbon Monoxide

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require private rented sector landlords from 1 October 2015, to have:

  • At least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation, and
  • A carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used - after that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

If you have gas appliances in your house, Carbon Monoxide is a potential danger. It's invisible and odourless, but it can kill. Possible danger signs include having gas flames that burn orange or yellow rather than blue, sooty stains around gas appliances and solid fuels that burn slowly or go out.

Be aware of the possible symptoms, which include:

  • Unexplained drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Sickness and Diarrhoea.
  • Chest pains.
  • Unexplained stomach pains.

Further information can be found here: Carbon Monoxide- Be Alarmed Campaign

Furnishings

Is the property furnished? If so, it’s a legal requirement that all upholstered furniture, manufactured since 1950, is fire retardant and displays a fire-retardant label.

Remember to ask for copies of the current Gas Safety and Electrical Safety Certificates.

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