- Risk assessment
- Doors, locks and keys
- Electrical safety
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Fire safety
- Gas safety
Although it is not a legal requirement for a landlord to undertake a risk assessment using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), we believe it to be good practice to ensure that the property is safe, secure, adequately heated, clean, dry and in good repair.
As a general rule, the property should be one owners themselves are happy to live in.
Any property advertised on studentpad must be free of any category 1 hazards. Contact your local authority for details or see the HHSRS guidance (pdf)
Owners should check their insurance policy for security requirements.
All locks should be to British Standard.
External doors must be of a solid core timber or metal framed UPVC construction, or specialist laminated security doors in which all glazing is either wired or toughened laminated glass.
The door frames should be strong and well secured.
Any door providing a means of escape, and which is required to be kept locked, must be fitted with a type of lock capable of being opened, easily and quickly from within without a key.
Bedroom doors with locks require an internal thumb-release lock.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
We accept full PIRs with a ‘satisfactory’ rating from contractors registered with a Competent Person Scheme such as:
- ELECSA www.elecsa.co.uk 0333 321 8220
- NAPIT www.napit.org.uk 0845 543 0330
- NICEIC Group Ltd www.niceic.com 0870 013 0382
If the certificate has a satisfactory rating but lists category 1 and 2 items, we will require written evidence from the electrician that all such items have been satisfactorily dealt with. A Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate (DEIC) for a completely new installation is acceptable, but a DEIC for an ‘alteration’ will require in addition a full EICR.
If in any doubt, we suggest that you go back to your electrical contractor and ask them to certify that the DEIC applies to the full installation and covers all the points that would have been covered in an EICR. We will require written confirmation that an EICR would be mere duplication of the DEIC.
Please note we will not consider a property until we have seen a complete copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) plus any evidence that category 1 and 2 items have been rectified. We require a EICR to be completed every five years.
Portable appliance testing (PAT)
It is recommended that you don’t supply any electrical equipment unless it has been portable appliance tested. This applies to fridges, freezers, cookers, vacuum cleaners and any other portable electrical items or electrical appliances supplied as part of the fixtures and fittings of the property.
It is a legal requirement that landlords ensure the safety of electrical appliances in their properties.
Minor Domestic Electrical Installation Works Certificate
It is a requirement of part P of the Building Regulations that any electrical installation fitted in a room where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom, requires a minor domestic electrical installation works certificate. An annual inspection of electrical fittings and installations at the end of the tenancy is recommended to ensure that any defects are remedied before a new tenancy period begins.
Further information is available from:
Electric fuse boxes
Electrical fuse boxes/meters may need to be enclosed by 30-minute fire resistant material. Owners must contact their local authority or fire officer to ensure their fuse boxes comply with current legislation and provide documentation, if appropriate, to the relevant office.
These are a legal requirement for private rentals. The EPC rates the energy performance of a building. The idea is similar to the well-established energy labels for the sale of white goods such as washing machines. For more information see gov.uk: EPC
Landlords must do a risk assessment and take appropriate fire safety measures.
A fire door must be installed to the kitchen so that the area is isolated and protects the means of escape in case of fire. The requirements are for a 30 minute fire door which should be fitted with an intumescent strip usually seen running along the sides and top of doors and often found as one integrated unit. The door should also be fitted with an efficient self-closer and treated with an appropriate fire retardant finish. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that fire doors comply with current regulations.
Furniture and furnishing (fire safety) regulations 1988
Owners are responsible for ensuring that all upholstered furniture complies with this legislation, including beds, headboards, mattresses and bases, sofa beds, futons, settees, armchairs, padded upright chairs, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows, loose and stretch sofa covers.
They must be in good condition. Students should not be permitted to bring their own furniture into the property or use portable heaters in the properties without prior permission.
Inter-linked smoke alarm system
The universities require interlinked mains-wired smoke alarms with integral battery back-up located in the escape route at all floor levels and in the lounge; additional interlinked heat alarm with integral battery back-up located in the kitchen.
All systems must comply with current British Standards.
Wall-mounted fire blanket
A wall-mounted fire blanket must be fitted on a kitchen wall away from the cooker, close to the exit and in a place where it can be used effectively. Fire blankets need to be checked for signs of deterioration and replaced immediately if used.
Gas safety record
By law, landlords are responsible for making sure gas appliances are maintained and checked for safety every 12 months by a registered installer. We will need to see proof of the annual service and a current copy of a Landlord’s Gas Safety Record.
This work must be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
For more information
- visit the Gas Safe Register website
- visit the Health and Safety Executive website
- call the HSE Gas Safety Advice Line 0845 345005
Carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors are required in each room where there is a gas appliance. It is the responsibility of the owner to make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are properly located and where possible fixed and that they meet current European and British safety standard BS EN 50291. They should be tested at appropriate intervals, and replaced if they become defective.