How to Ensure your Rental is Safe

Checklists

Checklist provided by 

www.bluewatch.co.uk

 
As a landlord/agent it is essential you have a 'safety in the home checklist' to protect yourself from potential prosecution in the event of a tenant's death.
Understand the main causes of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in homes.
60% of fires start in the kitchen, so do extra checks to make sure everything has been covered:
  • Electrical leads, tea towels and cloths aren't near ovens/hobs;
  • Put a note on the microwave to make sure no metal items are placed in them;
  • Ensure electrical appliances aren't located near the sink/any water;
  • Only allow a 'spark device' to light gas cookers;
  • Don't supply a chip pan, and request the tenant doesn't use one.
  Heaters caused 1,500 accidental fires in 2011/12 so advise tenants not to place clothes/furniture/beds next to heaters and to always turn off any portable heaters.
  If the property has a chimney, make sure it has been swept and is done so regularly, ideally by a chimney sweep who belongs to the Institute of Chimney Sweeps or National Association of Chimney Sweeps.
  Make a list of all the products and services in the property that need checking by professionals eg cooker, hob, boiler, electrical appliances, heaters, smoke alarms.
  Check whether electrical appliances you supply have a British or European safety mark, if they don't, consider removing them from the property or replace them with safer versions.
Check any furniture you leave in the property meets the correct fire safety standards.
Make a list of all of the safety products which the rental home should have such as smoke alarms.
There are special rules which are created at national and local level so make sure if you have a Home in Multiple Occupation, you abide by the specific safety regulations required by your local housing officer/authority and the LACORs guide.
Make a list of all the additional safety products which would protect both your tenant and your property, even if they aren't required by law for example a fire blanket, fire extinguishers, fire doors and emergency lighting. Visit Blue Watch for help choosing quality safety equipment for your home.
Gas appliances can go wrong even after they have been checked, so ensure you have an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Over 50 people each year die of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning so always ensure a CO detector is fitted and regularly tested.
Keep a record of all the safety checks, the equipment you have installed and an inventory of what you left in the property.
You can get a 20% discount on Smoke alarms at Blue Watch shop, simply enter ‘Propertycheck’ in the ‘offer code’ box at checkout.

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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