Safety Assurance

 

Gas Safety Certificate

It is a legal requirement for landlords to have all gas appliances in rented properties checked annually, and a copy of the gas safety certificate given to tenants. This is because carbon monoxide, which you cannot see, taste or smell, may accumulate in the property from unsafe appliances, and this can kill. If you have requested a copy of the certificate from your landlord and it has still not been provided to you, you can report your landlord to the Health and Safety Executive.

 

Electrical safety

A landlord has a responsibility to ensure that any electrical appliances supplied with the accommodation are safe. This includes heaters, cookers, kettles, and any other electrical goods. If you are concerned that an electrical appliance is not safe and your landlord is unwilling to check it, you can contact Cardiff Trading Standards Consumer Advice Centre on 02920 87 2059, or e-mail.

Trading standards departments have a duty to enforce legislation which covers the safety of electrical appliances supplied with accommodation.

 

Furniture Supplied by the Landlord

Any furniture provided by a landlord must be fire resistant. All new and secondhand upholstered furniture sold after September 1, 1990 should meet the fire safety regulations, and carry a label as proof. If a piece of furniture does not carry a label saying that it meets the regulations, it is likely that the item does not and you should ask your landlord for it to be replaced.

There are no minimum standards for what should be provided in furnished rented accommodation, but you should have:

  • Table and chairs

  • Sofas and/or armchairs

  • Beds

  • Storage for clothes in each bedroom

  • Heating systems or appliances

  • Curtains and floor coverings

  • Cooker

  • Fridge

Other items, such as desks, are often provided but unless agreed when the contract was signed, the landlord can refuse to provide extra items.

 

Fire Safety

The design, construction and condition of any residential property should limit the chances of carelessness causing a fire, by limiting the spread of a fire and providing a safe and ready means of escape. All rented properties should have fire alarms, smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. Larger properties are required to comply with additional standards. See also www.firekills.direct.gov.uk for advice on preventing fires.

 

Security

Ideally a house should have mortice locks on front and rear doors, but landlords are not obliged to provide them. Window locks on the ground floor and other accessible windows are a deterrent to burglars. Always make sure doors are locked and windows are shut when you go out, and do not leave valuables such as laptop computers in view. Most burglaries occur in properties where access is easily obtained through open windows or unlocked doors.