Whether you have invested in a property that you plan to rent out to tenants or are buying a new home and want to rent your previous home out rather than sell it on, then it’s your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that your potential new tenants have a safe place to live. No matter what kind of property you are renting out, or who is going to be living there, you must put safety first. Here are some of the main things you’ll need to do before you put your property on the rental market.
You will need to get an electrical installation condition report or EICR certificate to show that the electrical system in the property is up to date and safe to use. Electrical hazards can put your tenants at serious risk, so if any issues are found, you will need to rectify them immediately. A domestic EICR should be carried out by a professional and qualified electrician. The same is also true for commercial buildings – if you’re renting out a shop or restaurant, for example, you will need a commercial EICR/fixed wire testing. Get answers to any general EICR queries you have and find out more about domestic EICRs by Hexo Electrical Testing.
Smoke and CO Alarms
As a landlord, you should make sure that your tenants are protected from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Legally, you will need to make sure that smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide alarm are provided. There should be at least one smoke alarm on each floor. You can opt for either battery-powered or hard-wired, but hard-wired is recommended as there’s no risk of the tenants forgetting to change the battery. CO alarms should be located anywhere there is an appliance that might emit this gas, such as a boiler, gas fire, wood-burning stove, or gas cooker.
You will also need to schedule another regular check on your rental property known as a Gas Safety Certificate. This is carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer and will involve an annual visit to the property to ensure that any appliances that emit carbon monoxide are safe and working correctly, such as the boiler.
Damp is not only destructive to a property, but it can also put your tenants’ health at risk. Before you rent out a home, it’s important to take steps to ensure that it is adequately damp proofed. For example, you may want to have the damp proof course checked on an older property to ensure that it is still working correctly.
Last but not least, make sure that the property you are renting out is secure. There should be adequate locks on any doors that lead outdoors, and all windows and doors should be checked for any vulnerabilities. Make sure that windows are lockable with a key and that tenants are provided with the keys. You may also want to install a burglar alarm system if the home does not already have one.
Renting out a home is a big responsibility, and it should start with making sure that the property is safe for your tenants to live in.