Failure to fulfill your responsibilities Poorly maintained rental property will always have a greater risk of a variety of accidents occurring.
What you have to be aware of here, is the fact that should your building be the cause of an injury to the tenant, or a members of the public, you could be liable for a claim to be made against you! The Effect A poorly maintained building will become an increasing liability and will be a bigger drain on your resources.
It will also not attract the best tenants, and as a consequence, if you are housing problem tenants, the problems you have will start to really build and build.
To help you avoid the time consuming problems that may occur with a poorly maintained rental property, I have noted a number of areas for you to be at least aware of.
Building Fabric According to the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, you have to maintain your rented property and keep it in an acceptable condition on the inside and on the outside.
Furniture "The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety Amendment) Regulations 1993" covers the necessity to ensure that if your property has faulty or unsafe furniture and fittings, this could result in serious injury to your tenant or a guest.
It could even result in death! Therefore, always check your furniture is fire resistant with an appropriate "Fire Triangle" labels, and always ensure your furniture is safe to use.
Gas Appliances: The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 covers the latest requirements for all gas appliances in a rental property.
An annual Gas safety check is a regulatory requirement for all rental properties in your rental portfiolio, and ensures that gas appliances are working in a safe and satisfactory manner.
In the UK, all gas safety checks must be carried out by qualified Gas Engineers.
Electrical safety: The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 covers your requirement to have all fuses, electrical equipment and electrical wiring checked.
Each year it is a statutory requirement to have an Annual Electrical Safety Certificate issued by a fully qualified Electrician.
This check ensures all appliances and wirings and fuses are safe to use and not a danger to the tenants and not a fire hazard.
Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors and smoke alarms are covered under the following legislation "The Building Regulations1991-Smoke Alarms".
It is highly recommended that, at the very least, smoke alarms are located in "areas at most risk" throughout the property.
These smoke detectors can either be battery operated, or mains operated.
Please note that after 1992 (in the United Kingdom), it became mandatory for all properties to have mains operated smoke detectors fitted.
Energy Performance Certificates These certificates are also known as EPCs, and all rental property must have this type of certificate displayed in a prominent position in the rented property.
This certificate can only be obtained by a person who has the required qualification to carry out such work.
Finally The above list of requirements may seem onerous, but it gives both you, and the tenant "peace of mind" and ensures that you have a property that is safe to rent out.
Failure to comply with the above legislative requirements is merely a cost cutting exercise, and the consequences of not having complied will make you liable for what could be very expensive damages claims.
The costs of being compliant far outweighs the costs of not being compliant.
Everyone has so much to do these days, and you may find that you cannot devote sufficient time to your rental property portfolio.
If this is the case, there are many rental companies able to look after your property for you and ensure that all the legislative requirements are looked after on your behalf.
Yes, they do charge a fee for their work, but the fee they charge will buy you peace of mind as you will know that your property is fully compliant and easier to rent out.