The Carrington Partnership - Saftey Matters

The 1998 Regulations came into force on the 31st October 1998 and were amended in 2018 by The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

The regulations make the following main provisions in relation to rented property:

Gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (i.e. GasSafe registered installer).  Since April 2018, the annual gas safety check can now be carried out within two months before the due date and retain the existing 12 month expiry date.  A check may also be carried out up to two months after the 12 month expiry date but only once in relation to each appliance or flue and only in order to align the expiry date with another appliance check so that both appliances have the same expiry date.  The safety check must be carried out by a suitable qualified technician and landlords and their agents must furnish their tenants with a record that the test has been carried out.



  • All work on gas appliances is carried out by a GasSafe Registered engineer
  • All records are retained for a minimum of 2 years
  • All tenants are provided with a copy of the gas safety recorder with 28 days of the check being completed
  • Any new tenant receives a copy of the gas safety record before they take up residence.


The Carrington Partnership - Saftey Matters

From 1st October 2015 it is be a legal requirement for Landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in high risk rooms in their properties, such as those where gas cookers and hobs, wood burning stoves and open gas fires are situated.

Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

In addition, from 1st October 2015 the law requires landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy. Mains powered alarms are preferred as the failure rate is much lower than a battery powered alarm.

We will require all properties to be compliant prior to the start of a new tenancy.

The Government has announced funding for free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms from fire and rescue authorities to give to private sector landlords whose properties currently do not have alarms. Should you wish to benefit from this scheme, we would suggest that you contact your local fire station for schemes running in your area. Of course, the alarms would still need to be fitted thereafter.

Legionnaires' disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems

The Carrington Partnership - Saftey Matters

Landlords of residential accommodation have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their tenants and exercise due diligence wherever possible. Health and safety legislation requires landlords to carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which can result in Legionnaires Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced.

This information provides a brief guide on HSE recommendations on what landlords need to do. Further advice is available from the Health & Safety Executive.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.

Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.

Risk assessments

Landlords have a duty to ensure the safety of their tenants and protect them from health hazards and ensure that Legionella is properly assessed and controlled.

Normally there is no reason why the landlord should not carry out this risk assessment himself/herself so long as they are competent. However, for those not able to do this, we employ the services of a specialist company and can instruct them to carry out an inspection. These need to be carried out as routine, every 2 years as part of a safety strategy and due diligence policy. The cost of each survey and report is £50.00 and our contractor is not registered for VAT. (£25.00 per annum)

For most residential settings the risk assessment may well show the risks are low so long as simple control measures referred to in the next section are followed. This will apply to houses or flats with small domestic type water systems where the water turnover is high. Provided the risk assessment shows that the risks are insignificant and the control measures are being properly managed no further action would be necessary. It is important, however, to keep the assessment under review periodically in case anything changes to the system.

Control measures

Simple control measures will help manage the risk from Legionella and these should be maintained including:

  • flushing out the water system by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes where the premises have not been used e.g. before letting the property or if the property has stood empty for a time
  • avoiding debris getting into the system (e.g. making sure cold water tanks, if installed, have a tight fitting lid)
  • setting controls so that the hot water is heated to and stored at 60°C
  • the removal of any redundant pipe work
  • advising tenants to regularly clean, descale and disinfect shower heads

Tenants Responsibilities

Landlords are entitled to expect the tenants will play their part in ensuring control measures are maintained and The Carrington Partnership would:

  • inform tenants of potential risk of exposure to Legionella and its consequences
  • tell tenants of any action which arises from the landlords risk assessment if appropriate
  • tell tenants to inform the landlord if the hot water system is not heating properly or if there are any other problems with the system
  • tell the landlord if the cold water system is not running cold
  • tell tenants to keep the water turned over

A copy of each prepared report is given to the tenants on occupation and this provides valuable advice and guidelines to follow.

Unoccupied premises

The risk from Legionella may increase if the property is unoccupied even for a short period. It is important that water is not left to stand in the hot or cold water systems. As a general rule, all outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week for at least 2 minutes to maintain a degree of water flow and minimise the chances of stagnation. For long periods consider draining the system. Make sure that the system is flushed through when it is re-occupied by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes.

What happens if the landlord does not carry out his/her obligations?

The consequences can be serious. Landlords / Agents are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed especially if someone were to unfortunately die. Landlords/Agents can be prosecuted even if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1993)

All upholstery and upholstered furnishings, eg sofas, armchairs, mattresses, pillows, supplied as part of the tenancy must comply with current fire resistance standards. Items such as carpets, curtains and bedding are not included and any furniture manufactured prior to 1950 will be exempt providing that they have not been re-upholstered with an illegal filling. Such furnishings must carry the appropriate permanent labels to show that they comply. Any furnishings which do not comply with the regulations must be removed prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Electrical Safety

The legislation for electrical safety is less explicit than that of gas safety and currently, there is no equivalent for inspection standards comparable to the Gas Safe Register. Landlords and Agents however, do have a statutory duty to ensure that all electrical wiring and equipment present in a rental property is safe for use and maintained adequately. The two main Acts of Parliament which impose this are:

  • The Consumer Protection Act 1987
  • The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985

There are also several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including:

  • The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
  • The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • The General Product Safety Regulations 1994
  • The Plugs and sockets (safety) Regulations 1994

We strongly recommend that regular periodic inspections are carried out – one prior to letting and then every five years thereafter. This inspection would highlight any areas in need of upgrading and should ensure electrical safety.


There are also several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including:

  • The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
  • The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • The General Product (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994

The Carrington Partnership highly recommend that mains installation and fixed wiring and all portable appliances (any item with an accessible plug) to be tested prior to the commencement of the initial tenancy and a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) to be completed annually thereafter.

Our property management team ensure that all current legislation is complied with and fully advise landlords of the requirements. We have negotiated favourable rates for safety testing from reputable local companies and are happy to undertake the organisation of the inspections on behalf of our landlords upon request.


It is highly recommended that all appliances are regularly serviced to ensure that they are safe. Chimneys should also be swept regularly.