As a landlord you have a legal duty to safeguard the health and safety of your tenants and others in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Housing Act 2004, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and associated legislation.
What are my landlord health and safety responsibilities?
Gas Safety Responsibilities – you must ensure that all gas appliances in your property are safe for your tenants to use, which requires you to:
- Arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to install and maintain gas supplies. These checks must occur every 12 months.
- Have an up-to-date gas safety record which should be issued to your tenant.
- Inform tenants of where to turn off the gas and what to do in case of an emergency.
Fire Safety Responsibilities – you have a legal obligation to ensure that your properties comply with fire safety regulations.
- Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, you must undertake a fire risk assessment in all areas of your property.
Electrical Safety Responsibilities – You must:
- Ensure all electrical installations are safe.
- Ensure that all appliances provided to your tenants have the ‘CE’ marking.
- Use a qualified electrician to carry out checks. A registered electrician will issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report after they have inspected installations.
- Ensure that all alterations, repairs, and improvements to the fixed electrical system comply with the latest Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Wiring Regulations.
Legionella Safety Responsibilities – In a property, legionella bacteria may be found in any water system between 20-45°c which could be fatal.
- To effectively prevent legionella and legionnaire’s disease in your property, you must undertake a legionella risk assessment.
Asbestos Safety Responsibilities – It is a legal requirement that you must ensure you manage the risk posed by asbestos.
- This can be achieved by carrying out an asbestos risk assessment by a competent person.
Letting/Managing Agents should have a management contract in place which should clearly specify who is responsible for the above and associated record keeping.
What are the consequences if I choose not to comply?
If you choose not to comply with the law, you could face hefty costs. These could be in the way of fines from local authorities should you fail to ensure adequate health and safety standards.
There is also a risk of civil prosecutions if someone injures themselves as a result of poor health and safety at your property. Any damage to your reputation from any such proceedings would also have a detrimental financial effect on you as a landlord in the future and your ability to rent out properties. In addition, legal proceedings may also affect the reputation of any managing agents associated with the landlord.
What more can I do?
An annual Property Inspection carried out by a competent health and safety consultant demonstrates a positive attitude towards health and safety and a strong duty of care towards your tenants and others.
Furthermore, a regular property inspection highlights any potential hazards and controls required to reduce the risk of harm to others, enabling you to be proactive and have peace of mind that you are reducing the likelihood of any harm being incurred and associated legal proceedings.
Should you like to discuss your responsibilities, please just get in touch.
Sarah Mellor CMIOSH MIIRSM
Salopian Health & Safety Limited
T: 01630 657084