As a landlord, your responsibilities extend beyond simply collecting rent. You’re also legally obliged to ensure that your property remains in a safe, habitable condition. Here’s a straightforward guide to understanding the frequency of various maintenance tasks and repairs based on British laws and regulations.
Gas Safety Check
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords are required to arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out an annual gas safety check. You must provide tenants with a copy of the Gas Safety Record within 28 days of the check.
Electrical Safety Check
As per the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, landlords in England are required to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years. The report must be supplied to the tenant within 28 days. There are a few different tests and certifications which could vary in length; luckily, businesses like Hexo Electrical Testing have a wealth of resources, including information like ‘how long does an eicr last?’.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An EPC rates a property’s energy efficiency and is valid for 10 years. While it isn’t a maintenance requirement, you must provide an EPC to new tenants.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel-burning appliance. These should be tested at the start of each tenancy.
In shared or multiple-occupancy homes, landlords must conduct a fire risk assessment under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. There’s no set frequency for reassessments, but they should be done regularly and whenever significant changes are made to the property.
General property maintenance, such as gutter clearing, roof inspections, and boiler servicing, should be done annually. This helps prevent more serious damage and maintains the property’s value.
Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are responsible for repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, plumbing and heating systems, and other sanitary installations. There’s no set frequency for these repairs, but they should be carried out as soon as possible after issues are identified.
If a rental property has a pest infestation, it’s generally the landlord’s responsibility to deal with it. While there’s no specified frequency for pest control, it should be carried out as needed and can often be prevented with good property maintenance.
Painting and Decorating
There’s no legal requirement for landlords to redecorate their properties unless it’s stipulated in the tenancy agreement. However, it’s generally considered good practice to paint and refresh the property every 3-5 years or between long tenancies.
The Bottom Line
While there are legal requirements for certain maintenance tasks and safety checks, a proactive approach to property upkeep will go a long way in preventing more serious issues. Keeping a regular maintenance schedule not only keeps your property safe and habitable but also helps to foster a positive relationship with your tenants.