Safety Information and Regulations
Below you will find Compulsory and Advisory requirements which should you need, we are able to organise on your behalf.
Rent Smart Wales
Rent Smart Wales is a compulsory scheme being run within Cardiff Council but in partnership with all Local Authorities in Wales.
In order to comply with Rent Smart, all Landlords with rental properties in Wales need to register their properties with Rent Smart. They will also need to ensure that the party managing their property/properties is licensed. Full information regarding the Rent Smart service can be found at their website www.rentsmart.gov.wales (tel. 03000 133344) but please find an overview of what is required of you, as a Landlord, below:
Your property/properties may be registered online via the Rent Smart website for a fee of £33.50 (please note that higher fees apply for paper applications) - this is the fee per Landlord, not per property. How the property is owned will determine who needs to register it but unfortunately, we, as a letting agent, cannot do this on your behalf. In addition to registering with Rent Smart, every Landlord in Wales must ensure that their rental property is managed by somebody who is licensed and that party must be named on your registration.
We are a Rent Smart licensed agent and so you will not be required to become licensed yourself if we manage your property. You will however need to name View as your letting agent when you register as a Landlord.
If we are acting in a tenant find capacity for you, we will need to see proof that you have obtained your Rent Smart Wales license.
Gas Safety Certificate
Before a property can be offered to prospective tenants, it is a Landlord’s legal obligation that a current and satisfactory Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate is provided by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
The Gas Safe engineer will ensure that all gas appliances or installation pipe work in the property is maintained in a safe condition to prevent risk of injury. Any recommended remedial works should be carried out before the start of the tenancy.
Tenants must be given a copy of the report within 28 days of the inspection being carried out and in the case of a new tenancy, the tenant must be given a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate at the time they take occupation.
The Gas Safety Certificate must be renewed on an annual basis with copies kept for 2 years.
Where we manage the property, we will organise the timely renewal of the gas safety certificate in accordance with the regulations, the cost of which is £55.00 per annum.
For our non-managed properties, we cannot stress the importance of gas safety certificates: if found guilty of non-compliance, a Landlord will face a fine/imprisonment or both. Should a tenant die as a result of non-compliance with the aforementioned Safety Regulations, the charge would be manslaughter.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s)
Government legislation requires an energy performance certificate to be produced for rental properties.
An EPC is a certificate that shows in detail the energy performance of a building. The certificates presents this information in an easy to understand manner giving properties a rating between A-G (A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient) along with any recommendations to improve the properties efficiency. Properties with an EPC rating below E will not be permitted to be let to new tenants.
The EPC is compiled by an accredited domestic energy assessor (DEA) who will carry out the survey on site. The DEA will conduct a survey of the property which will include looking at and detailing the following:
- The construction type of the external wall
- Assessing the age of the property and any extensions
- Type of windows and doors
- Space and water heating systems
- Loft space and its insulation
- Calculating heat loss perimeters
- Property’s fuel meters
Energy performance certificates are valid (for sale or rental purposes) for 10 years.
Any new tenancy agreed after 1st October 2008 without an EPC in place could result in the landlord being fined £200 per property.
Whether we are managing or acting in a tenant-find capacity for you, we can arrange for your property’s EPC to be produced. Our cost for this is £50.00.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Some properties are designated as HMOs and require a license by the local council in order to comply with the Housing Act 2004. A copy of your license will need to be supplied to enable to proceed with letting your property. A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a building, or part of a building, that:
- is occupied by individuals who do not form a single household, and
- is occupied by those individuals as their only or main
- rent is payable by at least one of the occupiers, and
- two or more households share one or more basic amenities.
Purpose built blocks of self-contained flats are not HMOs, but houses or buildings that have been converted into a block of flats may be a HMO if:
- the standard of conversion does not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations; and
- less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied.
For properties based in Cathays, an additional licensing scheme is in place.
Alongside your local council, we are able to establish whether or not your property is an HMO although you can find further clarification on the central government website
The purpose of a Portable Appliance Test is to make sure that any electrical items supplied are safe and will not cause danger.
While there is no mandatory requirement to undergo a Portable Appliance Test, a constant duty of care remains for Landlords and we therefore highly recommend this be carried out prior to a tenancy commencing with regular inspections of wiring, plugs, sockets etc. thereafter.
As we undertake inspections of our managed properties every 3 months or so, a visual inspection of electrical items will be undertaken at regular intervals.
Building Regulations (Smoke Alarm) 1991
The above regulations make it mandatory to fit mains-powered smoke alarms in new residential buildings – one on each floor. Whilst it is not a new requirement in older properties, we very highly recommended to install smoke alarms in all instances.
Building Regulations (Electrical Safety in Dwellings)
These regulations require that works, repairs, maintenance, etc., on ‘electrical installations’ in certain areas of a property are known as ‘notifiable works’ and as such must only be completed by a ‘competent person’. Failure to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence, which would result in a fine and/or imprisonment.
The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
All furniture that is to remain in the property should be compliant with current safety regulations, this includes soft furnishings such as mattresses, padded headboards, bed bases, sofas, armchairs, cushions, pillows, etc. with exemptions for furniture/furnishings manufactured before 1950 and after 1989.
There should be labels attached to furniture that comply. If there are no labels you must provide proof of the date of purchase. You cannot avoid the Regulation by selling, giving or leaving the furniture for tenants as this is considered supplying.
Non-compliance can mean that you will be found guilty of a criminal offence and face a fine, imprisonment, or both.