Did you know that landlords need to provide renters with certain documents before they move in? We’d forgive you if you didn’t, especially if it’s your first time renting. Increasing legislation around health and safety means landlords are required to give renters a list of safety certificates stating if the home is habitable to. What are those documents? We’ve got them covered below.
Landlords are required to check gas installations in a property every 12 months. Checks must be carried out by a professional engineer and include examinations of the gas supply, gas appliances, gas flues and ventilation.
All checks must be undertaken by someone who is on the Gas Safe Register, and they will issue a certificate to the landlord if the property passes. The landlord then needs to give you a copy of that certificate when you move in. Properties without gas don't require a gas safety check.
The electrical safety check is one of the newer pieces of legislation. It requires landlords to ensure that all electrical installations and wiring in the property are safe and in working order before the renter moves in.
This is known as an electrical installation condition report (EICR), and it’s required every five years. As of July 1st 2020, all EICR checks are mandatory, whether it’s a new tenancy or an existing one.
An electrical performance certificate (EPC) states a property’s energy efficiency. The report must be carried out by a qualified professional, and it lasts for 10 years. After the checks are done, the engineer will issue a rating stating the property’s energy condition.
The rating is between A and G, with A indicating a highly energy-efficient home. Under new rules, landlords can’t rent out their property if it has a rating of E or above.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
A smoke alarm must be installed on each floor of the rental property and thoroughly tested before the renter moves in. Any home with an open fire or log burner will also need a carbon monoxide alarm.
Landlords – or the check-in clerk – are required to test the alarms work the move-in day to see if they're in working order. The tenant agreement should also state that renters need to check them regularly to ensure they are still working. The landlord doesn’t need to issue a document stating that the alarms work, but it will be noted on the check-in report.
Fire and furnishings
Any furniture supplied in the property must have the appropriate tags under the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988. While this tag doesn’t safeguard them from burning, it does mean they are made of materials that aren’t highly combustible.
Manuals and instructions
While not a legal requirement, it’s good practice for landlords to leave any manuals and instructions inside the property. This typically includes instruction manuals for how to work appliances like the washing machine, dishwasher, cooker and oven.
If the property is in a residential development, there may also be instructions about social spaces and opening times, like concierge services or social spaces that might include gyms, terraces and residents’ lounges.
How to rent
Before moving into the property, the landlord must legally provide you with a “how to rent” document. This is a checklist that details everything about the renting process, from the rental agreement to the legalities around renting. You should have a read of the document, as it contains important information about renting and your rights as a renter.
You should always ensure that you receive the correct documentation when you move in. And if there’s anything you’re unsure of, don’t hesitate to ask the landlord or managing agent. Having the right documents in place ensures a smooth moving-in process for you and is a legal requirement for the landlord.