With more and more people in the UK renting their homes, it’s crucial for tenants to ensure that they are aware of what to expect from their landlord as a renter. Along with providing you with a home that is structurally sound and respecting your right to privacy, your landlord is also responsible for making sure that you are paying for a safe place to live. Keep reading to learn more about some of the regular alarms, checks and inspections that you should expect your landlord to carry out, and how often these need to be done.
One of the most frequent checks that landlords need to carry out on rental properties is the Gas Safety Certificate. This is necessary for any property that has a combustion appliance such as a combi boiler, a gas stove, gas fire, or wood burning stove. The purpose of this test is to ensure that the appliance is safe and not posing any dangers to the property or the people within it. It’s carried out on an annual basis and should only be done by a registered Gas Safe Engineer.
As a renter, you should expect that fire alarms are provided as part of your home. Fire alarms can either be battery powered or hard-wired into the home’s electrical system. While your landlord does not need to provide regular fire alarm testing on a regular basis if you live in a house, it’s worth asking them about fire alarm testing, including how often it needs to be done and whether it’s carried out by you or a professional. If you live in a flat that is part of a larger building, fire alarm testing will likely be carried out on a weekly or monthly basis. If you suspect that your fire alarm is not working correctly, you should report it as soon as possible.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Your home should be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm if you have any gas appliances inside. These include boilers, gas fires, gas ovens and hobs, and wood burning or multi-fuel stoves. Carbon monoxide alarms are often free-standing and battery-powered, but you can also get models that are hard-wired. These should be tested as part of the Gas Safety Certificate checks, and it’s also worth testing them yourself more often throughout the year.
Electrical Safety Testing
Landlords are required to make sure that the electrical system of any property that they are renting out is safe. This is done with an EICR test, which is required every five years for rental properties. A registered electrician will check the electrics in the property to ensure that everything is working as it should and there are no hazards that need to be addressed. The test will also check the energy efficiency of the property, and improvements may need to be made if this falls below the minimum standards.
If you are renting, then it’s reasonable to expect that your landlord provides these alarms and regular checks to ensure that your living situation is safe.