Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rental Safety Regulations

For professional advise as well as probably the best sales, lettings and property management services around Windsor, Maidenhead, Reading, Marlow, Cookham and Twyford, please contact Appleton Letting Agents Reading


The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 & The Furniture &
Furnishings (Fire)(Safety)(Amendment) Regulations 1993

Effective from March 1st 1993, Landlords letting residential property must ensure that all
upholstered furniture complies with the Fire and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988.
Generally, these cover the need for fire-resistant filling material to upholstered articles
and the passing of a match-resistant and cigarette-resistant test.
Failure to do so could result in up to 6 months imprisonment and/or fines up to £5,000.00.

The correct method of displaying compliance is to check that a permanent label is present on
all items of furniture. The regulations apply to:

  • Three piece suites, armchairs & sofas
  • Beds, headboards, mattresses, divans & bed bases
  • Sofa beds, futons & other convertible furniture
  • Nursery & children’s furniture
  • Loose, stretch & fitted covers for furniture
  • Pillows, scatter cushions & seat pads
  • Garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling.

Any items not labelled may not conform to the regulation and will have to be removed from the property.

It should be noted that any furniture manufactured prior to 1st January 1950 is exempt from the regulations.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994

This regulation requires a Landlord to ensure that all gas fittings and flues are maintained in good order,
and gas appliances and flues are checked for safety once in a period of 12 months. This must be done by a
CORGI registered engineer and it is essential that this is carried out before a tenant takes occupation. A
copy of the certificate is to be kept at the property at all times and a copy should also be provided to our
lettings department for our records.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

This regulation requires that all electrical appliances, equipment and supply must be safe. Where their safe
use requires, appropriate instruction booklets must also be provided. Plugs and sockets that are newly installed
must conform to the appropriate British Standard or approved alternative.

The General Product Safety Regulations 1994

These regulations mean that the landlords are required to consider general safety of the tenants in their property.
For example, the landlord should supply instruction manuals for the items used in the property. Also, information
sheets covering any issues about potential danger points in the property (e.g. sharp objects/hot surfaces, etc.).

Unlike the gas safety regulations, there is no statutory annual testing interval. Yet, in order to meet the
requirements, it is still important that all electrical equipment be tested regularly.

Smoke Detectors Act 1991

The Department of Environment introduced new regulations which require any new building (built after June
1992) to have smoke detectors installed. Whilst not yet a legal requirement for other properties, we feel
this legislation will soon follow and Landlords can still face serious claims in the event of a fire. We
would therefore strongly recommend Landlords to install at least two smoke detectors.