Landlord Safety Certificates: What You Need To Avoid Fines
With government legislation surrounding laws and regulations for UK landlords constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up! From electrical safety reports to gas safety certificates, there are a number of landlord duties you legally need to uphold.
If you don’t, you put tenants at risk and can face hefty fines from the UK government, or worse – jail time. To help you stay compliant and keep up with current laws, we’ve compiled helpful information about all the safety certificates you need to protect yourself from severe financial penalties. Just keep reading!
The legal safety checks UK landlords need to make
Some of the most vital responsibilities of landlords are to perform the correct safety checks on your property. Below, we’re talking about each safety check you need to carry out and what can happen if you don’t!
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Assessment
By law, you must ensure you’ve fitted at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your property and carbon monoxide alarms for any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance.
Make sure they’re working correctly before your tenants move in, perform regular checks throughout the year, and fix any issues your tenants bring to light quickly!
The risks of non-compliance: This one may seem pretty obvious, but without correctly installed carbon monoxide and fire alarms, you risk harming your tenants and the property with fires or gas leaks. You can also face a fine of up to £5,000 if you don’t comply!
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
According to April 2018 UK government regulations, private landlords can’t let domestic properties on new tenancies to new or existing tenants if the EPC rating is F or G (unless an exemption applies). They also require landlords to renew their EPC for each property every ten years. Any time you significantly alter a property, however, you’ll need a new certificate.
The risks of non-compliance: If you receive an energy performance rating below E, you must take active steps to improve it. If you don’t, the UK government will fine you up to £4,000. You may also struggle to secure tenants, as their electricity bills will be much higher.
Gas Safety Certificate
You must obtain a Gas Safety Certificate annually to comply with legislation by a registered Gas Safe Engineer. Make sure you keep a copy of the certificate and give one to your tenant too!
Risks of non-compliance: Failure to comply not only puts your tenants at risk with potential gas explosions and leaks, but you can also face unlimited fines (one landlord was even fined £40,000 for non-compliance!) and up to 6 months in prison!
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Landlords are required to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for their properties every 5 years. This essential report ensures electrical safety in your property’s electrical system and in electrical appliances.
Risks of non-compliance: If you don’t get an EICR every year, you can put your tenants in harm’s way with electrical fires, and the UK government can make you pay up to a whopping £30,000 as a penalty.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment
Under the Fire Safety Order, you must conduct frequent Fire Safety Risk Assessments to make sure you provide a safe property for your tenants and eliminate fire hazards where possible – things like fire-safe furniture, fire extinguishers, and fire escapes are a must here.
Risks of non-compliance: Though this isn’t an office safety certificate, the government clearly sets out regulations to follow. Don’t comply, and you increase the risk of fatal fires, lawsuits, prison sentences, and fines around the £50,000 mark!
Legionnaires’ Disease Risk Assessment
You may not have even heard of Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia (as it’s relatively rare).
However, preventing tenants from getting it is a mandatory safety check you must carry out under UK law by evaluating the risks of this disease and taking proven action to minimise them.
Risks of non-compliance: Though the government doesn’t ask for a certificate, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations act 2002 (COSHH) requires landlords to control the risk of this disease.
If you don’t, your tenants may sue you for contracting the disease, and you can face a heavy financial penalty from the government.
Stay compliant by managing safety certificates – the Symple way
We hope you feel better prepared to handle your landlord safety certificates and obligations now! Find more helpful advice for landlords in our previous blog, “6 things every landlord should know.” Want to make safety certificate management easier?
Symple is easy, fast, and built to make landlords’ lives easier. Our platform makes it as simple as clicking a button to process renewals, manage tenant communications, and source reliable engineers from your local area.
No more calls back and forth to arrange appointments, forgetting to renew your certificates, losing track of receipts, or facing fines – Symple takes care of the entire process for you.
Just add your property information and the date of the last gas, energy performance, or electrical safety certificate, hit renew, and we’ll do the rest – it’s Symple!
Learn more about how Symple works and order your certificates online today.