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Safety Regulations

It is important for any landlord to understand the safety obligations placed upon them when considering letting out a house. These are legal responsibilities, and a failure to comply with them can lead to extensive fines and even imprisonment!

Be assured, by using midcornwall you will be advised of all these responsibilities and consulted on what needs to be done to ensure you adhere to them to give you peace of mind

  • The Gas Safety Regulations

It is a landlord's legal responsibility to ensure that all the property's gas appliances and fixed installations are maintained in good order and checked for safety at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. midcornwall are able to organise Gas Safety Certificates on behalf of our landlords using specialised Gas Safe Engineers. Further comprehensive information is provided on www.gassaferegister.co.uk. As your agent, it is essential that we are in possession of a copy of the valid Gas Safety Certificate before we can release keys to a tenant for move-in.

  • The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

When letting a property, you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe, as failure to comply with the regulations is a criminal offence that can result in fines, imprisonment, invalidation of your property insurance and the tenant may also sue you for civil damages. These regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive and although there is no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment as there is with gas, it is advisable for landlords to have periodic checks done by a qualified electrician. In particular, landlords are advised to ensure that the earthing and insulation of all electrical appliances within the property are safe and are regularly checked. Cabling, fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary with the correct rating for that particular appliance.

We are able to assist in the arrangement of an Electrical Safety Test should you wish us to.

  • The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

It is your legal responsibility as landlord to ensure that any furniture complies with these regulations. To make sure your furniture and furnishings meet the regulations we advise you to:

  • Ensure that they carry a manufacturer's permanent and fixed label showing compliance at the point of sale.
  • If possible, buy new from a reputable retailer as second hand furniture is more risky.
  • Keep all purchase receipts

The regulations apply to:

  • Arm chairs, three piece suites, sofas, sofa beds, futons and other convertible furniture.
  • Beds, bed bases and headboards, mattresses, divans and pillows.
  • Nursery furniture
  • Garden furniture which could be used indoors
  • Loose, stretch and fitted covers for furniture, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows.
  • Bed bases and mattresses are not required to bear a permanent label but compliance will be indicated if the item has a label stating that it meets BS7177

The regulations do not currently apply to:

  • Antique furniture or furniture manufactured before 1950
  • Bed clothes and duvets
  • Loose mattress covers
  • Pillowcases
  • Sleeping bags
  • Curtains
  • Carpets

Any items purchased for the property after the start date of the tenancy agreement must also comply with these Regulations for the duration of the tenancy. If you have any doubt, it is best for you to consult your local Trading Standards Office.

Energy Performance Certificates epc

It is a legal requirement for a property that is marketed for rent that it has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The certificate rates a property from "A" to "G" for both Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact with "A" being the best. It also shows how a property could potentially better its rating after making improvements.

These are quick to arrange and last for 10 years so you will not need another one in a hurry! If you instruct us to let at midcornwall, we are able to arrange this with no fuss on your behalf.

Tax advice for Overseas Landlords

Where a landlord may be considered non-resident for tax purposes he has to pay United Kingdom Income Tax on any rents received from property in the UK under the Finance Act 1995. Unless an "Exemption Certificate" is received from the Inland Revenue specifically permitting midcornwall to pay rental monies to the landlord without the deduction of tax, midcornwall is obliged by Law to deduct tax at the appropriate rate as directed by HM Treasury on all monies received and account to the Inland Revenue for these monies on a quarterly basis.

Whilst landlords are responsible for obtaining their own "Exemption Certificate", we can advise you of how to go about it and supply you with the relevant forms to fill in. It's important to note that the certificates are non-transferable between agents. It is also important to note that where a landlord is collecting rent directly and is non-resident for tax purposes then the tenant becomes liable for the collection of tax due.

Please contact us if you would like further information or a no obligation appraisal