Forget about talk of moving home being one of the most stressful experiences of your life. Getting the keys to your new place is a time for excitement, as you start your next chapter in what we hope will be lush, modern settings.
If you're renting your next home, there's just as much reason to feel jovial, and you get the added bonus of many aspects of moving taken care of for you. One of those elements involves your landlord conducting safety checks to ensure the apartment is move-in ready.
But what are those safety checks? That's what we're here to tell you with our guide. From fire and safety checks to furniture that is fit and proper, here's everything you need to know about necessary landlord safety checks.
Furnished or unfurnished?
Moving into a furnished property means you don't have to worry about lugging heavy furniture around. But that new furniture in your home will need to pass fire regulations.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010 act means that plush sofa and cushy bed, amongst other items, need to be fire-resistant.
You can check if items of furniture meet this requirement fairly easily, as they will have a label stating that they've passed the The Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. However, if you're still unsure, you can ask the landlord or even contact the furniture manufacture, who will tell you about the item's fire safety status.
Sound the alarm (for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors)
Under the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations 2015, all landlords must equip rental properties with a minimum of one smoke alarm on every floor of the home. These must also be tested to see if they are in working order before the tenancy commences.
Landlords will also need to provide a carbon monoxide alarm for any room with an appliance that burns solid fuel (coal, wood et cetera). Without these conditions in place, landlords are illegally renting out their properties.
You should have a check-in before your tenancy commences. This is where the landlord or managing agent will walk you around the property, pointing out important aspects like the location of the fire alarms and their working order.
Get down to electric avenue (and make sure the electricity and gas work)
Now that the alarms and detectors are sorted, it's time to focus on electrical and gas items. If these work, it's much less likely that those alarms will need to be put into practice. Electrical and gas appliances include cookers, TVs, lighting, heating et cetera.
Again, before the tenancy begins, the landlord will need to get a safe gas engineer to check the property. The engineer will make sure that all appliances are in working order and don't pose a hazard while you're living there.
If the property is a HMO (house in multiple occupation), the landlord has a legal requirement to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report. This is to check the condition of installation, detecting and recording any factors that might affect safety.
Living in a (Legionnaire) disease-free home
Legionnaires disease often goes under the radar with tenants — and sometimes even landlords — as it's not as apparent as fire alarms and electrical appliances. But a Legionnaires disease check should be carried out by the landlord before you move in.
By law, a water safety check needs to be performed to see if there is a possibility of Legionnaires disease developing in the water. And it's best if a landlord hires a professional to check the water and make sure there are no signs of Legionnaires disease, meaning you don't have to think twice before turning on the taps.
Award me with your certificates
Along with things like an EPC, landlords should supply certificates to show that properties have been thoroughly tested for any health hazards before you move in. Again, this should take place during the check-in process, where a landlord can reveal that everything has been taken care of, and the property is move-in ready.
The safest place of them all
When you move into a rental property, by law, landlords need to carry out safety checks on things like fire alarms, electrical appliances and the gas. They should also provide you with a copy of the certificates to show the place is liveable.
You have a right to see these documents too, and might even prefer asking about them before taking the place. In the event that the landlord doesn't show you during check-in, make sure you contact them or the letting agent to get a copy.
Once the checks have taken place, all that's left to do is move in and enjoy your exciting new home