Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. It is your responsibility to make sure that your property is safe, secure and habitable. Otherwise, you will be held legally and morally accountable for any harm done to the occupiers. As such, this is not something to be laissez-faire about. However, if you have become a landlord recently, then you might not know what exactly you need to look out for to ensure your property is safe. Not to worry. We’ve written this article today to serve as a checklist for any new landlords, helping them to protect their tenants. So, keep reading to find out some of the different things you will need to look out for.
1.) Doors & Windows
For starters, you will need to check the doors and windows of your property. They need to open, close and lock without a hitch. Not only is this an important security measure, but also prevents your tenants from getting locked out. To complete this check, you will need to go through the property, testing every door and window. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to see which ones are and aren’t working.
2.) Smoke Alarms
It is of paramount importance to make sure that there are smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on your property. You must test to see if they are working properly, too. Otherwise, your tenants could be at real risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or not noticing when a fire is spreading. As such, every floor of the property needs to have a smoke alarm installed. Meanwhile, any room with a solid fuel burning combusting appliance must have a CO alarm.
3.) Gas Safety Certificate
A gas safety certificate is a document which confirms that gas safety checks have been conducted and approved on all gas appliances in your property. This is one of your legal obligations as a landlord. However, you cannot complete these checks yourself. Instead, you must hire a registered, qualified gas safety engineer. They will investigate all these gas appliances for you (such as the boiler, stove), ensuring they are properly maintained and safe.
4.) Conduct an EICR Report
Now, you’re probably wondering – what is an EICR report? Well, the acronym EICR stands for an electrical installation condition report. This is an important document which is supplied after you have been assessed by a certified engineer or electrician. As electrical cables and appliances will deteriorate over time, they can eventually become hazardous if left unchecked. So, every five years landlords should have an EICR conducted on their property.
5.) Check Sockets and Wires
Alongside your EICR report, you need to ensure that the electrical wires and plug sockets on your property are safe. This includes checking whether the wires are frayed or exposed, plus testing the plug sockets to see if they are broken. Otherwise, your tenants could be at risk of getting hurt. For example, they might go to plug in their laptop and have an unexpected electrical shock.
6.) Secure Attach Units
You might have some fitted units in your property, such as kitchen cabinets on the walls or shelves. If these aren’t securely attached, then they could fall off, either damaging your property or hurting a tenant. Therefore, before bringing in new occupiers, you need to make sure these are solid. Tighten the screws, test their robustness, ectara.
7.) Tripping Hazards
Tenants can be rather litigious these days. They might even try to blame you if they injure themselves on the property. To protect them (and yourself from legal action) you should look out for tripping hazards and correct any potential hazards you can spot. This includes things like ripped carpets, broken hardwood or laminate flooring, and so on. You should be particularly meticulous when it comes to places like the stairs.
8.) Preventing Mould
Mould is a nightmare for tenants and landlords alike. It’s somewhat inevitable, especially in areas like the bathroom, but it needs to be seriously addressed. If your occupiers sleep in a bedroom filled with mould, they could inhale these harmful spores, damaging their lungs and developing unpleasant diseases. You should take good measures to prevent mould on your property, such as hiring a mould removal company and ensuring there is proper ventilation in each room.
9.) Fire Safety
Alongside installing and testing your smoke alarms, you will need to have a variety of fire safety measures in place throughout your property. For example, there must be a fire escape that tenants can use. You need to be mindful of the upholstery and furnishing in your estate, too. Certain materials are more flammable than others, so they need to meet fire safety regulations.
These are the main things to check so you can ensure your property is safe for occupiers. We hope this guide has helped to make everything clearer.