When you’re busy getting a property ready for rental there are multiple things to think about – the lease, what kind of tenant you want, whether to use an agency and so on. Many of the things you have to do don’t just protect the tenant, they will also protect you from any action by the tenant if they have any kind of mishap due to hazards in the property.
Obviously, you need to get a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate, to show that boilers and gas appliances in the property have been serviced and inspected. There is usually a small extra charge for this on top of the servicing charge.
Electrical Safety Checks are a Must
Less well known is the need to get electrical safety checks. Many reputable letting agents will not put a property on their books without some evidence that the electrical installation at the property is safe. At a minimum, all lights and sockets must be safe, and any items such as lamps must have a “CE” safety marking. For Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), there is a legal requirement that a full electrical safety check is completed every five years.
If you choose not to have the electrics checked, then any injury to a tenant could be seen as your fault. In addition, if there is a fire at the property, your claim will be stronger if you can show the insurance company that you had the wiring checked before the tenant moved in.
If there are not many sockets in the property, think about adding some more or extending the wiring circuit – a major cause of fires is overloading circuits by adding more and more adaptors. For help with this, contact a MK Electrics who are experienced at advising new and long-term landlords, and will know what is, and isn’t, essential.