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Legal Requirements

Gas Safety

All private landlords have to make sure the gas supply and appliances they provide to their tenants are safe. Every place that has gas must have a valid gas safety certificate. This section explains what a gas safety certificate covers and what to do if you are having problems related to gas safety.

All private landlords have to have a valid gas safety certificate for all the gas equipment in the accommodation they rent out. Gas safety certificates can only be given by registered gas engineers and are valid for 12 months. In order to give a gas safety certificate the engineer has to check:

  • the gas supply
  • gas appliances
  • gas flues
  • ventilation

Landlords must keep copies of the inspection report and certificate and should keep records of any works carried out. You can ask for a copy. If the gas engineer notices any problems the landlord has to fix them. If a landlord fails to do this or fails to provide a gas safety certificate it is a criminal offence. The Health and Safety Executive can prosecute.

If the gas engineer identifies any problems with the gas equipment, the landlord has to get a registered gas engineer to carry out the works required. The gas engineer has the power to seal off any faulty equipment or request the gas company to cut off the supply to the property.

Up until 31st March 2009 the gas engineer must have been registered with CORGI. As from 1st April 2009 a replacement Gas Safety Register has taken over which is operated by CAPITA. After 1st April 2009 the certificate will only be valid if issued by a gas engineer who is entered on the Gas Safety Register. It is illegal to employ a non registered engineer. Certificates issues by CORGI registered engineers remain valid so long as they were issued no later than 31st March 2009.

Fire Safety For Furniture and Furnishings

Key Points

Furniture and Furnishings supplied by the landlord or a managing agent must comply with the Fire Safety Regulations for furnishings and furniture. The furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations must be maintained so as to meet the relevant requirements regarding ignition and fire safety. This is intended to ensure proper fire resistance. Landlord fire safety is enforced is by local training standards. These are also requirements imposed in relation to furniture in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Furnishings and upholstered furniture supplied by landlords must meet fire resistance requirements. These set levels of fire resistance to domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products which contain upholstery. The relevant regulations are contained in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended by Regulations made in 1989 and 1993. These Regulations are made under consumer protection legislation under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA 87).

Product Ranges Covered

These include any of the following which contain upholstery:-

  • Furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children's furniture
    • (2) Beds, head-boards of beds, mattresses (of any size)
    • (3) Sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
    • (4) Nursery Furniture
    • (5) Garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling
    • (6) Scatter cushions and seat pads
    • (7) Pillows

The Regulations also apply to:-

  • Loose and stretch covers for furniture

The Regulations do not apply to:-

  • (1) Sleeping bags
  • (2) Bed-clothes (including duvets)
  • (3) Loose covers for mattresses
  • (4) Pillowcases
  • (5) Curtains
  • (6) Carpets

There is an exemption for furniture made before 1950 and re-upholstery of furniture made before that date.

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