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Legal Requirements

LANDLORD REGISTRATION?

This is a requirement made under Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 which states that all private landlords must register with their local authority to ensure that they are a "fit and proper person" to let property. Landlord Registration must be renewed every three years and each property you let must be registered also. It is an offence to let any property without being registered.

When registering your property online you will require our registration number as your managing agent which will be supplied to you at the time of completion of the Sole Agency Agreement.

You must register with each local authority in whose area you let a property. If you own properties in more than one area you will be able to register with all authorities in one application which will enable you to reduce the fee due.

For more information on landlord registration or to register as a social landlord, click here.


THE GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1998

These regulations were introduced to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition in order to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.  It is the responsibility of landlords of domestic properties to ensure that ALL gas appliances and gas installation pipe work are checked for safety at least once per year by Scottish Gas or a GAS SAFE Registered Engineer and that accurate records are maintained of these checks and of any work carried out. These records must be lodged with Cunninghame Properties for inspection as and when required.

Gas appliances include:  Central Heating System, Gas Heaters, Gas Fires and Gas Cookers.

Gas installation pipe work includes: Gas pipe work, Valves, Regulators and Meters. Faulty equipment can lead to death and conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord. Under the regulations any appliance that does not conform to the regulations must be disconnected.

For the avoidance of doubt we regret that we are unable to let any property until such times as the appropriate certificate has been received.

We would advise that Cunninghame Properties have a bulk contract in place with Scottish Gas, which offers a discounted rate. The contract includes an annual safety check on the boiler and heating system, 24 hour emergency call out service, repairs as required and the issuing of the Landlords Certificate. Extra appliances, such as cookers, fires etc may be added to the contract as required. Should you wish to avail yourself of this facility, please advise our office accordingly.


FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE REGULATIONS MAY JEPARDISE THE LIFE OF YOUR TENANT AND LEAD TO A PROSECUTION WITH PENALTIES OF IMPRISONMENT AND OR FINES.


THE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994

The above regulations impose an obligation on the landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances left as part of a let property are tested for earthing, insulation and leakages. Cables, fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary to the correct rating for that particular appliance.

Other legislation covering electrical installations is currently in force and in order to avoid any accident/s, we recommend that all electrical appliances in let properties are tested and certified every year. We recommend that electrical mains wiring be tested and certified every 5 years by a fully qualified electrician.

From the 1st of December 2015, private landlords are responsible for ensuring that an electrical safety inspection of their property is carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years.

The new legislation explained

As of 1st December 2015, under sections 13(4A) and 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, private landlords in Scotland are required by law to ensure that their properties are electrically safe.

This covers:

  • Any installations in the property for the supply of electricity
  • Electrical fixtures and fittings
  • Any appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy

Landlords must be able to prove that all of the above are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.

So what do landlords need to do?

Landlords are required to ensure that regular electrical safety inspections are carried out by a competent person, and that anything that fails to pass the inspection is replaced or repaired immediately.

As a minimum, an electrical safety must be carried out:

  • Before a tenancy starts, and
  • During the tenancy, at intervals of no more than five years from the date of the previous inspection.

A copy of the most recent electrical safety inspection reports must be provided to both new and retained tenants.

The person who conducts the checks must be employed by a firm that is a member of an accredited registration scheme operated by a body recognised by the Scottish Government - this will usually mean that they are registered with NICEIC or a member firm of the Electrical Contractors' Association of Scotland (SELECT).

Both the NICEIC and SELECT provide online tools for finding local members.

Transitional Rules

The Scottish government details the transitional rules for the scheme.

  • It requires any new tenant to receive an EICR if they take up their tenancy after the 1st of December
  • Any existing tenant to receive a copy of an EICR before the 1st of December 2016 (unless their tenancy will end before that date)
  • If an EICR (or new installation certificate) is available for the property that was produced since 1st of January 2012, this is still in its perceived five year life-cycle this is still valid (for five years from issue).  These do not need any PAT report. 
  • Any EICR produced after 1st December 2015 will also need appliance test reports.

What happens during the electrical safety inspection?

An electrical safety inspection has two parts:

  • An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) - formerly known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) - on the safety of the electrical installations, fixtures and fittings.
  • A portable appliance test (PAT) on any portable appliances that you have provided by the landlord 

For the EICR, the registered electrician will carry out checks of installations for the supply of electricity, electrical fittings (including but not limited to switches, sockets and light fittings) and fixed electrical equipment (including but not limited to boilers, panel and storage heaters and hard-wired smoke and fire detectors).

As a result, the electrician will produce an EICR document that highlights any problems using different classifications: code C1 indicating "Danger Present", code C2 indicating "Potentially Dangerous" and code F1 indicating "Further Investigation Required". Any remedial work that is undertaken as a result of the inspection will then be recorded on a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate.

You may have a copy of an Electrical Installation Certificate rather than an EICR if:

  • Your property is a new build
  • The property has been fully rewired
If you have an Electrical Installation Certificate, you can provide this to demonstrate that your property complies with the new guidance, provided that the date of the next inspection needed on the certificate has not elapsed.  

The portable appliance test (PAT) covers any movable electrical equipment that the landlord has provided as part of the tenancy (refrigerators, cookers, TVs, toasters, etc) and must be carried out by either a registered electrician or any person who has completed appropriate training as a portable appliance tester (which can include the landlord).

Anything that fails to pass the electrical safety inspection or PAT test must be replaced or repaired immediately. 

More information can be found on www.gov.scot

SMOKE ALARMS

All properties built after 1992 must have mains operated smoke detectors fitted on each floor. All other properties must ALSO have smoke detectors fitted and these should be mains wired to take account of the common law ‘duty of care’.   An alarm installed prior to 3rd September 2007 can be mains powered or battery powered, however, any smoke alarm installed or modified after 3rd September 2007 must be mains powered, including replacement alarms. Currently battery operated detectors are however acceptable but these must be checked on a regular basis.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE REGULATIONS MAY JEOPARDISE THE LIFE OF YOUR TENANT AND LEAD TO PROSECUTION WITH PENALTIES OF INPRISONMENT AND OR FINES.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES

All residential properties which are let out, including holiday homes, must have a full and detailed report of the energy efficiency rating relating to the property concerned. The report is only required when a property becomes vacant therefore it may be some time before such an inspection is required on your property. The aim is to provide tenants with sufficient rating information which in turn is supposed to lead to smaller fuel bills, less energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions. The report will provide a rating from A to G showing the current rating and the potential rating and will be similar in style to that currently used on washing machines etc. Once the certificate is obtained you require to take no action, as the only requirement at present is to ensure that it is displayed in the property, preferably at the gas or electric meter cupboard.

The certificate, once obtained is valid for a period of ten years.   Reports can currently only be obtained from members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and other suitably qualified organisations. Cunninghame Properties have negotiated special rates with Allied Surveyors and are able to offer YOU, the Landlord, this facility.  As this legislation is mandatory we shall arrange the necessary report(s) on your behalf UNLESS you advise us otherwise. Should you wish to obtain your own certificate you must provide us with a copy in order that we may arrange to have it displayed at the appropriate property.

FAILURE TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE COULD RESULT IN A FINE AND YOUR LANDLORD REGISTRATION BEING WITHDRAWN BY THE LOCAL AUTHORITY.


PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING

Just how safe are your tenants with your electrics?
 
Anyone who lets property as a business activity is required by law to ensure that the equipment they supply as part of the tenancy or lease is safe and ‘fit for purpose’. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations Act 1994 requires that all mains electrical equipment i.e. cookers, washing machines, freezers, kettles etc, new or second hand, must be checked periodically to ensure that this is the case.
 
In order to be confident that you do not put the lives of any individuals at risk it is strongly advisable to have any portable appliances within your property tested on a yearly basis. Our associate company ProPAT Services Ltd are able to arrange this on you behalf at competitive rates.
 

THE FIRE AND FURNISHINGS (FIRE) SAFETY REGULATIONS

The above regulations were amended in 1993 and have set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings.  It is an offence to supply in the course of a business any furniture that does not comply with these regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a LET residential property although the current guidelines are unclear if the property to be let is the permanent home of the owner.  The regulations apply to sofas, beds, bed heads, children’s furniture, garden furniture, if suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture and other similar items. The regulations do not apply to curtains, carpets and bedclothes (including duvets and mattress covers).       


The information documented is a summary of the implications of these regulations and should be read in conjunction with the official guide which can be downloaded from the internet. All property therefore let for the first time since 1st of March 1993 must contain furniture that complies with the new regulations. All furniture manufactured before January 1950 is not covered by these regulations, as defective inflammable materials were not used prior to that date. Any furniture manufactured after 1990 is most likely to comply, but if the appropriate label is not displayed, advice should be sought from the manufacturer or from our office.



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