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Legal and Safety

Tenancy Agreement

B-Spoke Lettings will prepare the tenancy agreement on your behalf. It is important we have clear instructions regarding the availability of the relevant property/properties prior to letting.

Insurance

The Landlord is responsible for notifying their insurance company in writing of their intention to let.

Consent to Let

Should the Landlord have lending on the property, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to obtain consent from their mortgage provider before entering into a tenancy agreement.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

As of 4th January 2009 all landlords are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for their tenants. The certificate is valid for 10 years and can be carried out by local surveyor, or other privately qualified professionals. This must be carried out prior to marketing the property for rental.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

These regulations first came into effect on 31st October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that ALL gas appliances and gas installation pipe work owned by them are checked for safety at least once a year by British Gas or a member of the Council of Registered Gas Installers (GAS SAFE). In addition accurate records of the safety inspections and any work carried out must be kept. The current safety certificate must always be provided to the tenant prior to them taking occupation of the property.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

The above regulations were amended 1993 and set a new level of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential property to be let out.

These regulations apply to sofas, beds, headboards, all children’s furniture, garden furniture suitable in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, stretch or loose covers for the furniture or other similar items. The regulations do not apply to curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets and mattress covers).

Scottish Government statutory regulations on electrical installations and appliances

A new duty to carry out electrical safety inspections comes into force on 1 December 2015.

There are two parts to the electrical safety inspection, (1) an inspection of installations, fixtures and fittings (EICR) and (2) a record of testing of appliances (PAT) provided by the landlord.

The tenant must be given a copy of the inspection when it is done. A new tenant must be given a copy of the most recent inspection before the tenancy begins.

Landlords should ensure that inspections are carried out by a competent

The minimum standard is that an electrical safety inspection is carried out every five years – but testing can be carried out more frequently.

The new duty applies to new tenancies that begin on or after 1 December 2015. It applies to existing tenancies from 1 December 2016. So landlords will have up to one year to organise inspections of the homes they let.

Regular inspection of installations, fixtures and appliances is best practice and some landlords will have arranged inspections before the law changes. The current standard format for inspections was introduced on 1 January 2012, and inspections completed from that date can comply with the repairing standard.

The Fire Scotland Act 2005 – Smoke Detectors

The Scottish Government has produced revised statutory guidance on the requirements for smoke alarms.

The above legislation requires that all properties must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms in the room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes and in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings. A heat sensor is also required in the kitchen.

The number and position of the alarms will depend on the size and layout of the property. There should be at least one alarm on each floor.

Carbon monoxide alarms in private rented housing

This statutory guidance is part of the Scottish Government Advice Pack for Private Landlords. It is issued under sections 13(1)(g) and 13(6) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (which were inserted by section 22 of the Housing ( Scotland ) Act 2014). Regard must be had to this guidance in determining whether a house meets the repairing standard in relation to the provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide (CO) is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health. This guidance takes effect from 1 December 2015.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas. Low levels of CO gas can be present in the atmosphere, however it is highly toxic and dangerous to humans and animals in higher quantities. The gas is produced in high levels from appliances where incomplete combustion of a carbon based fuel occurs. Incomplete combustion could occur in appliance installations that are defective, lack proper maintenance or have inadequate provision for combustion air.

CO detectors should be powered by a battery designed to operate for the working life of the detector which is usually between five and seven years. The detector should incorporate a warning device to alert the users when its working life is due to expire and should be replaced on or before the expiry date. Hard wired mains operated CO detectors with fixed wiring (not plug in types) may be used as an alternative, provided they are fitted with a sensor failure warning device. CO detectors must comply with BS EN 50291- 1:2010+A1:2012 2 and, where hard-wired or wireless installations are adopted, applicable European directives.

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