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Useful Information

Selling & Buying Residential Property

Letting or Renting Residential Property

Useful Contacts

  • Solicitor
  • Mortgage Adviser
  • Surveyor
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
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Selling & Buying Residential Property

Process

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Valuing your property

In order to establish a value for your property, an estate agent will visit to perform what is technically called a ‘competitive market analysis.’ This takes into account factors such as the desirability of the area, local and national market trends, and any improvements carried out to the property (such as loft conversions) to calculate the ‘estimated market value’ of your property. You then use this figure to arrive at your asking price. There is no charge for a valuation.

To request a free market appraisal from Christopher Rawlinson & Co you can either:
Visit our offices, call us, email us

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Choosing your estate agent

When selling your home the key task for your estate agent is to tell as many people about your property, as quickly as possible. A good estate agent will earn their fee by accurately valuing your property and promoting it at its best market value. They will reach more potential buyers and be on hand to field enquiries and vet the time wasters from the serious applicants. A good estate agent will also help with negotiations – should they be necessary – and be available to give advice and bring the sale to completion speedily and professionally. In essence, a good estate agent will pay for itself in the energy they put into your sale, and the time they will save you, and of course if they do not sell your property then they do not receive a fee!

When choosing an estate agent to market your property, it is a good idea to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Think about first impressions and whether you would want to buy from them. What was their telephone manner like? Have they responded to any requests promptly and politely? Do their offices present a professional and welcoming image? Look in the local press and make sure they have a high profile in the property sections.

If you have obtained several valuations on your property, it is advisable to ask the agents for details of other properties which they have recently sold, in order to substantiate the higher valuations. This will help you to verify that the agent is being realistic and not giving false hope in order to obtain your marketing instructions. Remember that a first impression is very important to the marketing process and it is not ideal to see your home languishing on the market for weeks or months, being reduced in price time and again in order to secure a buyer

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Getting your property ready to market

Once we have received confirmation of your instructions to place your property on the market with us, we will arrange to take photographs of your property. The photographs are then used in our extensive marketing activities on our website (www.christopherrawlinson.co.uk), various property portals on the internet, brochures and mail drops and weekly and monthly advertising.

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Marketing your property

Christopher Rawlinson is a independent agency whose foundation is based in customer service and communication. We provide an accurate appraisal, resulting from long experience, local knowledge and marketing expertise. We have a dedicated marketing team, which demonstrates our commitment to this integral part of the selling process. It is important for us to have a strong working partnership with the vendor to significantly improve the speed and success of a sale. We stand out from other agents by promoting a first class accurate and informative presentation of each property in the most attention – grabbing slots of the leading local newspapers, websites and clear eye catching window displays (conforming to Estate Agents and Property Misdescriptions Acts).

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Boards

You may well have seen our distinctive boards in your area. Boards are a valuable way of generating high quality enquiries, and complement the marketing effort, directly attracting buyers looking for property in specific roads or areas.

Christopher Rawlinson & Co online: www.christopherrawlinson.co.uk
Christopherrawlinson.co.uk attracts over 600 new visitors and generates over 90,000 page impressions per month.

And to ensure the widest audience for your property we are represented on the leading property websites:

www.rightmove.co.uk
www.findaproperty.com
www.propertyfinder.com

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Office locations

Our office are prominently located our office window also promote your property.

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Preparing your property for sale

First impressions are lasting and good presentation can dramatically increase the prospect of a sale Here are some simple steps for ensuring that your home is ready to show:

• Make sure your front door is clean, well maintained and welcoming – a fresh coat of paint will immediately give a positive first impression of your home
• A tidy property suggests that storage space is not a problem, so clear away any unnecessary clothes, toys, magazines etc
• Have the carpets professionally cleaned and bring paintwork back to life with touch-ups or a fresh coat
• Replace any discoloured grouting and sealant in the kitchen and bathroom
• Consider updating low cost items such as cupboard door handles for a fresh look
• Make sure all the lights work and the house is well-lit – even during the day
• Keep the windows sparkling clean, inside and out to maximise the impression of light
• Ensure front and back gardens are tidy, and paths and driveways well swept
• Add welcoming touches, such as fresh flowers

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Working Together

The most successful sales tend to be ones where the seller and the agent work hand in hand during the marketing process. At Christopher Rawlinson & Co we share your objectives – to achieve the fastest sale at the highest possible price with minimum disruption to your lifestyle


What you can expect from Christopher Rawlinson & Co if you appoint us as your agent

• We are the Longest established Estate Agent in Preston Road.
• We are a professional and independent firm with extensive and unrivalled knowledge of the local property market.
• We take our reputation very seriously, and are proud that the majority of our sales and lettings result from referrals and repeat business
• We provide a professional service with honest advice and a personal touch.
• Our office is ideally located to serve all aspects of the property market with prominent high street location offering a No Sale / Letting - No Fee basis
• Competitive commission rates.
• Commitment to our vendors.
• Communication and honesty. We prioritise feedback, ensuring vendors are kept informed of all developments in the sale of their property.
• Promotion of your property presenting every single property at its very best
• Comprehensive property details which are emailed and posted to buyers, and loaded to the websites and our office window
• A tailored marketing programme with extensive, premium position advertising and a website, updated constantly and linked to all of the major property portals
• Constructive advice about how to prepare your home for sale
• Accompanied viewings if requested at all times during our working hours
• Quote a realistic asking price from day one, rather than an inflated one that is subsequently reduced
• Left to their own devices many sales do not go through. Using our skills and knowledge, we nurture every sale through to exchange of contracts then on to completion

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Help us to achieve a quick sale keeping it simple and stress free

• Arrange for us to have access to the property at all reasonable times (preferably a Key)
• Ensure that we are informed about which fixtures and fittings will be staying and which will be going
• Be open with us about any problems with the property. Most problems can be solved with an experienced agent to guide the sale
• On the rare occasion of an unaccompanied viewing, let us know immediately how the viewing went, so that we can follow up appropriately
• A tough one to ask, but do aim to keep the house and garden clean and tidy at all times – you never know when you might get a short-notice viewing

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Our Fees

Up until the time that we exchange contracts on the sale of your property, you will incur no fees what so ever. Fees are only paid on completion. If you decide on sole agency then your fees will be lower than multi agency

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Appointing a solicitor

Christopher Rawlinson & Co work closely with many solicitors in the local area and are always happy to recommend a solicitor. It can definitely be an advantage to use a solicitor that has a good working relationship with your Estate agent.

Now you have appointed a professional to market your property and handle the legal necessities, you need to prepare your property for viewing . It is always a good idea to complete any outstanding work and keep your property clean and cheerful for viewings

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Preparing your property for viewings

This will help to ensure a positive impression of your property
• Paint the front door and ensure the entrance is clean and tidy.
• Put a lock on any rear gate.
• Spring clean throughout the property.
• Weed and clean up the garden.
• Maximise a feeling of space - get rid of clutter.
• Redecorating may not be necessary - discuss this with your Estate Agent.
• Make sure the shower works and is free from mould.

The following checklist is useful for preparing your home for viewings:

• Tidy up.
• Air the rooms.
• Hide clutter.
• Vacuum clean and dust the main rooms.
• Give the bathroom sinks and baths a wipe over.
• Have some flowers in the main room.
• Fully draw back the curtains to get maximum daylight in the rooms.
• On dull days, turn all the lights on and light any fire in the main room.
• Turn the television and radio off (light music is fine).
• Close all windows that are affected by background noise (traffic, trains etc).
• Try not to let pets and children interrupt the viewing

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Receiving an offer

We will confirm verbally and in writing we have received an offer on your property. If you have received an acceptable offer you need to make a decision as to whether or not to continue to market your property . If you decide to continue marketing you could undermine your buyer’s confidence and result in their pulling out. However, the buyer may wish to renegotiate or pull out following the survey or local authority search, leaving you vulnerable. These problems can be offset by arranging a verbal or written undertaking to take the property off the market after an agreed period while the survey and local authority search are being completed. We can advise you on this. There is always the possibility that you will receive multiple offers.
It is also possible that you might receive several identical offers and need to decide between buyers. We can help in a number of ways in these circumstances to bring this situation to a satisfactory conclusion
Open bids ("Dutch auction"): The agent negotiates with each buyer until they drop out, one by one, and the highest offer is left on the table. This method can achieve a high final offer from the buyers in the best position to proceed
Sealed bids: Buyers are invited to submit their final offers in writing, and the sealed bids are opened at a pre-agreed date and time. The highest offer wins. This method is seen to be fair to all buyers. As people are casting their offers blind and have only one chance, they are encouraged to put down the maximum they can afford. However this system does not necessarily take into account which buyer is in the best position to proceed

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Accepting an offer

Once an offer has been accepted the following details need to be agreed:
• Date for exchange of contracts.
• Date for completion.
• Details of any fixtures and fittings to be included or excluded in the sale of your property

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Preparation of a draft contract

Your solicitor will forward a draft contract of sale and a copy of the title deeds (or copy of the lease if appropriate) to the buyer’s solicitor who will verify all the documentation. Your solicitor will require you to fill our a ‘vendor’s questionnaire’ therefore it is worth considering the following factors in advance such as:
• Restrictions/boundaries.
• Owner's understanding of rights of access
• Any disputes over the above.
• Guarantees/insurance policies e.g. NHBC.
• Utility services at property.
• Planning.
• Lists of fixtures and fittings

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Service Charge Accounts

Whilst preparing your contract of sale your solicitor will require the following documents:

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Freehold property

• Title documents (from you or your Bank/Building Society).
• Evidence of payment of last Council Tax (last 12 months).
• Paid utility bills.
• Guarantees and warranties related to damp proofing, etc.
• Gas safety check certificates.
• NHBC certificates.
• Planning and Building Regulations approvals for extensions etc

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Leasehold property

• Leasehold title deeds will replace title documents.
• A history of service charge payments.
• A history of ground rent payments

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Exchange of contracts

Once all the queries have been satisfied, the buyer’s solicitor will obtain a local authority search and a copy of a mortgage offer. The buyer’s solicitor sends a signed contract and a deposit cheque to the vendor’s solicitor and exchange of contracts takes place, making the sale legally binding

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Completion

Completion will then take s place 2-4 weeks after exchange of contracts . The outstanding money required for the purchase of the purchase money is transferred to your solicitor. They pay any mortgage, deduct their legal fees, pay the estate agents fees and forward you the balance

There's nothing worse than not knowing what's happening and how far advanced you are. Here is a helpful guide for you to monitor how your sale is proceeding
Arrange market valuations
Put your property on the market
Consider all offers and accept the one your are happy with
We will confirm the sale is agreed subject to contract
Instruct Conveyancer to proceed
A survey of the property should be carried out on the buyer’s behalf
Title Deeds obtained and passed to Buyer's Solicitor
Draft Contracts signed and provided to Buyer's Solicitor
Enquiries received from Buyer's Solicitor Response made on enquiries from Buyer's Solicitor
Response made on enquiries from Buyer's Solicitor
Get quotes from removal companies
Agree a date for exchange of contracts and completion
Contracts should be signed, deposit received and funds cleared
Contracts exchanged
Completion of the sale and Key Released to the buyer

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Checklist

Contact utility companies
Gas company
Electric company
Water board
Local authority
Telephone / mobile company
Television licence
Sky digital / cable tv
Driving licence
Car registration / insurance details
Mortgage company
Endowment company
Home insurance
Inland revenue
Banks / building societies
Credit card company
Store card provider
Doctor
Dentist
Optician
Schools
Employer
Post office – redirection of mail

First Impressions Count

First impressions are important therefore we would recommend:

  • A secure front door in good condition (newly painted or double glazed)
  • Clean living accommodation
  • Clean curtains (fully drawn open – Neutral & lined or neutral blinds)
  • Clean carpets (Plain neutral colour or wooden floors)
  • Light and Airy atmosphere (Good quality lighting)
  • Quality furniture (So that the room does not look cluttered)
  • A well equipped kitchen preferably with: washer-dryer, fridge-freezer microwave and dishwasher
  • Dressed beds with clean neutral linen
  • Plenty of Storage
  • Good shower facilities (Power shower is preferred)
  • Good Security locks
  • Tidy Front and Rear Gardens

It is advisable to obtain Gas and Electrical certificates prior to the tenancy starting and service any appliances including the boiler (providing instructions). It is also a good idea to have sinks and baths checked and if applicable: re – sealed and/or re-grouted to avoid any potential leaks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I instruct an agent?
It is advisable to consult us when you first contemplate venturing into the letting market. This will enable you to take advantage of our store of experience in letting business, obtain guidance on what kind of preparation is necessary before putting your property on the market and the level of service you require.

Can you advise me on property to acquire for letting purposes?
For several years we have been offering clients invaluable and detailed advice when they are considering buying property for rental purposes. Our constant contact with prospective tenant keeps us fully alert to changes in the demand for rental properties and the standard required. We will be happy to discuss with you specific properties and give guidance on the rental to be expected, without obligation.
Additionally, in conjunction with our active sales division, we are able to offer a selection of properties, which may be suitable as letting investments.

How much furniture should I provide - if any?
To qualify as a 'furnished letting' a property should contain at least carpets, curtains and kitchen appliances although some tenants require properties to be fully furnished It is difficult to generalise, however, about the extent of furnishing required in your area before becoming involved in this kind of expenditure it is wise to discuss this with us or read the furniture regulations literature.

Does a property need to be newly decorated?
The letting market is sophisticated and highly competitive; therefore it is essential that the furnishing and decoration is of a high standard in order to let the property quickly and at the best possible rental.
For those unable to devote time and effort to supervising such works, we can arrange decoration and furnishing through our numerous contacts. Our detailed knowledge of tenants' requirements will ensure that the property is ideally suited to the lettings market. This service can be provided when the property is available for the first letting and at a later stage if the property needs decoration.

How will letting affect my insurance?
Most insurance policies covering household contents relate only to owner - occupied home, therefore it is important to advise your insurers that the property is to be let and check that it is fully insured against all normal risks. In the case of a flat, building insurance is usually paid from the service charge and arranged by managing agents, but it is wise to obtain confirmation that this is adequate. It is possible to secure an insurance policy specifically designed to cover tenanted properties and detailed information on these can be obtained from us. Tenants are responsible for arranging insurance cover on their own personal belongings taken into the property.

Will letting affect my mortgage?
Before letting you should consult your bank or building society if there is a mortgage on the property. They might wish to approve each letting and we can liase with them on your behalf if so required. It is wise to seek consent in principle before marketing the property to avoid unsecured delay when negotiating a tenancy.

How long will it take to find a tenant?
This is difficult to predict and will vary according to the standard of the property, demand and even the time of year. It is important therefore that you advise us as quickly as possible that the property is available to minimise the vacant periods.

My property is leasehold - is this significant?
If your property is leasehold, your lease will specify whether it is necessary to obtain permission to sub let from your landlord or managing agent. Normally they will require copies of the proposed agreement and references prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

How much rent can I ask?
Many factors determine the rental level of the property including the size of the rooms, standard of furnishings, location and prevailing market conditions. To obtain accurate information, contact our local lettings representative who will be pleased to inspect the premises and provide an opinion of rental achievable.

What is included in the rent?
A landlord is usually responsible for payment of service charges and maintenance (if applicable). These outgoings should be taken into account when determining the rental level.

What kind of tenancy agreement is most appropriate?
There are many different types of tenancy agreements and changes in the law and its interpretation means that our agreements are constantly reviewed. The type and length of agreement most suitable will vary according to the requirements of the landlord and the tenant.

Who is responsible for gas, electricity and telephone charges?
The tenant is usually responsible for payment of all utility bills. We will notify the relevant authorities that a tenancy has been agreed, request that the accounts be transferred and arrange for meter reading to be taken at the commencement of each tenancy.
Please ensure that you provide us with details of the current suppliers and account numbers (gas, electric, water and council tax). Tenants are allowed to change suppliers if they wish though we do ask that the Landlord is kept informed of these changes as a matter of courtesy.

How will you market my property?
We are one of the few agents with a professional marketing division and a comprehensive advertising strategy. Our marketing advice will ensure that your property is presented in a planned and strategic way, targeting the most suitable tenants for your property. Detailed property lists are regularly circulated. We maintain a presence in local press alongside sending text messages, emails, using various internet sites, telephone and post.
We would endeavour to find high quality tenants for your property and obtain references for each tenant and guarantor if necessary. If you have objections to tenants who smoke or have children or pets, please notify us prior to us marketing your property.
Once we have found the right tenants for your property and received all the relevant references we will organise the necessary legal documentation to proceed with the letting. A tenancy agreement is a legal binding contract between Tenant and Landlord and its sets out both parties’ obligation and responsibilities.

Who will show the property?
Our experienced staff are trained to emphasise the finer features and benefits of the properties they are showing and will always accompany prospective tenants unless the owner wishes to be present.

Do I need a Solicitor?
We have standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements, which are available for your use. However, you may wish to involve your own solicitor, especially if there are special circumstances to be taken into account of you wish to receive independent advice. We can provide specimen agreements if required, once a letting has been agreed.

How will you check the reliability of a tenant?
Any terms negotiated on a tenancy will be subject to obtaining satisfactory references for the tenant. The type of references we will obtain for your approval may vary accordingly to whether the tenant is a company or private individual.

How will safety regulations affect me?
We will endeavour to keep you informed of legislation affecting you as a landlord. We have therefore produced a section in this leaflet to assist you with some of the relevant details on: Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994; Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendments) Regulations 1994.
So that you can identify your statutory obligations, our staff will be pleased to talk to you about these regulations.

What deposit does a tenant pay?
A tenant pays a deposit as security against damage, breakage's or other liabilities as assessed at the end of the tenancy. The deposit is normally an amount between 6 weeks and 2 mounths rental.

Do I need to make an inventory?
The inventory will contain a full list of contents of the property together with details of conditions. It is an important part of your tenancy agreement and must be comprehensive, fair and unbiased.

Will I have to pay more tax?
We recommend that you seek professional advice on your tax position in relation to lettings and if required can refer you to a specialist accountant.

More information can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr.

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What are your fees?

We offer a range of services specifically designed to meet our landlord's circumstances. Letting a house or flat need not be a complicated operation but, with the present complex laws relating to the letting of the residential it is essential that you minimise the risk by choosing a professional agent to represent you. As our clients have widely differing circumstance we have devised a letting service, which will provide assistance at all levels.

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Why Choose CHRISTOPHER RAWLINSON & CO?

Christopher Rawlinson & Co has an excellent reputation for working closely with Landlords who wish to be involved with decisions relating to their property. We also have a team of staff always on hand to take control for those Landlords who simply want a cheque at the end of the month.
Whichever service best suits your needs the following will need to be in place prior to the commencement of the Tenancy.
Landlord Checklist:

  • Terms and conditions must be signed by all Landlords
  • A set of keys must be supplied for each tenant
  • Landlords must supply valid Gas safety certificates
  • Bank details must be supplied for future monthly rents to enable us to set up a standing order
  • Each named Landlord must sign tenancy agreements except where you require us, the letting/management agents, to sign on your behalf. If you require us to sign on your behalf then the Landlord must sign the authorisation on the last page
  • For overseas Landlords and tax exemption form is required for each owners name
  • For properties that Christopher Rawlinson & Co are managing we will also require and extra set of keys and a fund of £500 towards any repairs.
  • We recommend the landlord has arranged adequate Building Insurance for Letting purpose

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Services For Landlords

The Standard Service
The standard service is designed to find the ideal Tenant for the Landlord who prefers to look after the day-to-day activities of the tenancy.

Having received your instructions to act on your behalf in finding a suitable tenant we will actively market your property. After interviewing potential tenants and assessing their suitability we will seek comprehensive and satisfactory references. Subject to satisfactory replies to our enquiries a tenancy may then be agreed. We will of course make these available to you and it will be your decision to agree the tenancy.

  • Our Letting Fee Includes:
  • Pro - actively marketing of your property
  • Erect one of our ‘To Let’ boards to promote your property
  • Introduction of prospective tenant(s)
  • References enquiries
  • Arranging the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement and relevant notices to protect your legal rights
  • Collection of deposit and first month’s rent (monies will be held in our clients account until the tenancy begins)
  • Notification to the relevant authorities and utility suppliers of the change of occupancy

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Choosing Mangement

Management Service
The management service is designed for the Landlord who wants minimum involvement in the routine management and maintenance of the property. In addition to the standard service:
Our Management Fee Includes:
· Carry out regular inspections to ensure the property is maintained in good order
· Arrange any repairs necessary to both the building and any contents
(i.e. washing machine, boiler, cooker, guttering)
· Deal with any problems that should arise with the property
· Collection of rent each month on your behalf
· Provide regular statements for rental payments
· A minimum fund of £500 is held in our Client Account towards emergency repairs.
· Visit the property at an agreed time to meet Landlord and Tenant at the end of the tenancy to check the tenant out and assess any damage and unreasonable wear and tear Process the tenants security deposit upon satisfactory settlement of any damage and unreasonable wear and tear Landlords expenses are kept to a minimum, but high standards are maintained Landlords own tradesmen are welcome though we have approved contractors.

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Letting With Safety
Safety Regulations

When letting your property you must ensure that your property complies with the current legislation. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 puts the responsibility on Landlords to ensure all Gas Appliances and Electrical Installations in their property are safe when the tenancy begins, and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. From 1st January 2005, all domestic installation work must comply with British Standard Safety Requirements (BS7671). Failure to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence.
Upholstered Soft Furnishings and Furniture must have a fire resistant filling material and must pass a cigarette resistance test. These items include beds, mattresses, headboards, scatter cushions, pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture, children’s furniture, garden furniture and any other items of similar type fillings.

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Furniture & Furnishings
(FIRE) (SAFETY) (AMENDMENTS)
REGULATIONS 1993

In 1988 the Government introduced new Regulations on the use of any filling material in furniture or re-upholstery (whether foam or not foam) and the requirements for furniture to meet the ‘cigarette test’ was introduced in 1980. Since March 1993 all newly rented furnished properties should only be furnished with contents that meet the ‘cigarette test’ and carry the appropriate label.
Furniture manufactured prior to 1950 is exempt from Regulations as the Department of Trade and Industry has pointed out that most of the defective materials, which cause fire, were not in use prior to 1950. All furniture manufactured after 1988 should already comply with the Regulations but there is particular concern for foam filled manufactured between 1950 & 1983.
There are transitional arrangements for properties that were already let prior to March 1993 so that existing furniture can be used up to 31st December 1996. However, any replacement furniture or additional furniture provided for the property must comply at the time of provision.
The supplier of your furniture, who is required to keep records for five years, should be asked to produce a certificate of compliance with BS7177 from the manufacturers should you be able to identify compliance.
Safety in the home is very important especially in respect of fire and no less important when tenants occupy your home. As a responsible landlord employing professional Letting and Managing agents you will wish to ensure that you are complying with Regulations.
It may also be worth considering the installation of such items as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers or fire blankets for further peace of mind.
An extract of the Regulations is set out below for your general information.
The DTI has issued a very helpful guide to the Furnishing Regulations and a copy of this guide may be obtained from the Consumer Safety Unit, Department of Trade & Industry, Room 302, 10 – 18 Victoria Street, London, Sw1H 0NN.

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Consumer Protection
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety)
(Amendment) Regulations 1993

Second – hand furniture

14 (1) Subject to paragraph (1a) below this regulation
applies to furniture that has previously been supplied (whether before or after 1 March 1990
Provided that it is not excluded by regulation 4 above, and whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) to any person who acquired it otherwise that for the purposes of a business of dealing in furniture.
(1a) Until 31 December 1996 paragraph (2) below does not apply to any furniture which is hired out at the same time as in connection with the letting of accommodation if that furniture has, before being so hired out, been hired out in connection with the letting of the same accommodation.
(2) Furniture to which this regulation applies shall satisfy the requirements of 5, 6 and 8 (1) to (3) subject to the exceptions to those requirements for certain furniture specified in those regulations.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4) below, no person shall supply any furniture to which this regulation applies in the period before 1 March 1993 unless:
(a) It meets the cigarette teat in the case of furniture to which regulations (Safety) Regulation 1980 (a) as amended by the Upholstered Furniture (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1983 (b) applied: and
(b) There is attached to the furniture the display label specified in Schedule 8 to these Regulations so as to be clearly visible to anyone inspecting the furniture and to enable him to read both the front and the back of the label with as little difficulty as is reasonably practical.
(4) The display label specified in Schedule 8 to these Regulations need not be attached if the furniture meets all requirements of these Regulations, which would have had to be met if paragraph 2 of this regulation had been in force.
Consumer Protection Act 1988 Section 12 (1) – the 1988 regulations make it an offence to supply furniture to which the regulations apply unless the furniture meets what is basically known as the ‘cigarette test’. The regulations basically apply to all upholstery and upholstered furnishings, loose fittings, permanent or loose covers and to knowingly make such a supply the offence carries a punishment of six months in imprisonment or a fine subject to a maximum of £5,000 or both.

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Gas
(Installation and Use)
Regulations 1994

Every year at least 30 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances, which have not been properly installed or serviced. If gas does not burn properly, excess carbon monoxide is produced.
You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
· Your appliance was poorly installed.
· Your appliance is not working properly.
· Your appliance has not been checked or serviced regularly.
· There is not enough fresh air in the room.
· Your chimney of flue gets blocked up.
· You allow unqualified people to install or service your appliances.
On the 31st October 1994 the Gas Safety (Installation and use) Regulations 1994 came into force. Under Regulations 35(2) it is the duty of any person (i.e. the landlord) who owns a gas appliance and pipe work is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person. The landlord must ensure a qualified gas engineer checks each appliance for safety at intervals of not more that 12 months, e.g. An employee of British Gas or a CORGI registered tradesman. A record of each safety check (form Cp12) must be kept by you or your managing agent and a copy supplied to the tenants upon entry to the premises and within 28 days of the inspection to the existing tenant (by Law).
“Gas appliance” means an appliance designed for use by a consumer of any mains, propane, or calor gas for heating, lighting, cooking or other purposes for which gas can be used, i.e. central heating systems and other heaters, cookers, hobs, refrigerators, tumble dryers, etc.
“Installation pipe work” is defined as gas pipe work, valves, regulators and meters.


Gas Safety Action Line 0800 300 363 or obtain a leaflet “Landlords Inspection Complete Peace of Mind” which can be obtained from British Gas on 08459 500400 X 23780.
Extracts from the Regulations are set out below:
GAS
(1) The responsible person for any premises shall not use a gas appliance or permit a gas appliance to be used if at anytime he knows or has reason to suspect:
(a) That there is insufficient supply of air available for the appliance for proper combustion at the point of combustion:
(b) That the removal of the products of combustion from the appliance is not being or cannot safely be carried out:
(c) That the room or internal space in which the appliance is situated is not adequately ventilated for the purposes of providing is not adequately ventilated for the purpose of providing air containing a sufficiency of oxygen for the persons present in the room, or in, or in the vicinity of the internal space while the appliance is in use:
(d) That any gas is escaping from the appliance or from any gas fitting used in connection with the appliance:
(e) That the appliance or any part of it or any gas fitting or other works for the supply of gas used in connection with the appliance is so faulty or maladjusted that it cannot be used without constituting a danger to any person.
To quote from Regulation 2 (1):
“The responsible person”, in relation to any premises, means the occupier of the premises or, where there is no occupier or the occupier is away, the owner of the premises or any person with authority for the time being to take appropriate action in relation to any gas fitting therein:
To quote from Regulation 35:
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer or self employed person to ensure that any gas appliance or installation pipe work installed at any place of work under his control is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk of injury to any person.
(2) It shall be the duty of any person who owns a gas appliance or any installation pipe work installed in premises or any part of premises let by him to ensure that such an appliance or installation pipe work is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (2) above, a person subject to a duty imposed by that paragraph shall –
(a) Ensure that each appliance to which that duty extends is checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months by, or by an employee of, a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of regulation 3 (3) of these Regulations: and
(b) Keep a record in respect of the appliances to which that duty extends of the dates of inspection, the defects identified and any remedial action taken.
(4) The record referred to in paragraph (3) (b) above shall be supplied to tenants upon entry to the premises within 28 days of the inspection to the existing tenant.
The Regulations cover ALL appliances and not only the central heating system, i.e. cookers, space heaters etc. whether served by mains, propane or calor gas.
Only Corgi Registered Engineers are approved to be used under these Regulations. This includes the Gas Board. There are, however, various Corgi registrations and Agents should clarify whether contractors are specifically registered to service and maintain all gas appliances.

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Electrical Equipment
Regulations 1994

The Consumer Protection Act 1987 controls the safety of consumer goods, which extend to consumer goods supplied in the course of business – in this case rented accommodation.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that safety rules are complied with and in particular that all electrical appliances must be safe for use. Other legislation covers electrical installation and the safest way of avoiding prosecution or breach of one of the many regulations is to ensure that everything in the rented property is regularly checked and serviced at least every 12 months and at the commencement of any new tenancy.
You or your managing agent should keep records of all safety checks and works carried out. Items, which have been purchased since January 1997, will bear the CE marking either on the appliance or the packaging. Some old stock that meets the Low Voltage 1989 Regulations can continue to be sold but without the CE mark.
A NICEIC registered member should check electrical appliances, as follows:
· Live parts should not be accessible and leads should not be worn and frayed but be complete with no joins.
· Plugs marked BS1363 should be fitted and correctly fused.
· Electric blankets should be serviced according to the manufacturers instructions.
· Microwave doors should be clean and free from corrosion.
· Washing machines, cookers etc… should be serviced and in good working order. Moving parts should be guarded.
· Electric heaters and central heating appliances should be serviced annually.
· Fireguards should meet BS3248.
· Fire extinguishers should be marked B5423 1987
· Fire blankets should be marked BS6575 1985
· Instructions must be supplied for use with all equipment

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Other Safety Regulations

Where a house is divided into flats and the landlord retains control and occupation off all the common ways, legislation such as the housing (Management of Houses and Multiple Occupation) Regulations 1990, the Occupiers Liability Act 1958 and the Housing Act 1985 as amended by Part II of the Housing Act 1996, place responsibility on all landlords for the safety of tenants, visitors and anyone else who comes into the property.
The amendments include:
a) Registration Schemes
b) Fire Safety
c) Code of Practice
d) Landlords Duty of Care
Failure to take the necessary steps may result in two consequences:
1) Any tenant or other occupant, or any person who suffers loss, damage or personal injury arising from such a failure can sue the person in control for damages for breach of statutory duty.
2) The person in control commits a criminal offence, punishable in the Magistrates court by a fine of up to the maximum scale 5 (currently £5000).
These regulations are strictly enforced and landlords must ensure that all parts of the building that are in common use are maintained in good repair and decoration and are clean and in good order.
All staircases, corridors etc… must be kept free from obstruction and must be kept safe. Any missing handrails or banisters must be replaced immediately. There must be full fire precautions and means of escape in case of fire.
Shared kitchens, toilets, bathrooms or showers must be kept in proper working order, clean and properly lit.
Copies of the Housing (Management of Houses multiple Occupation) Regulations 1990 and amendments can be obtained from HMSO Publications Centre.
PO Box 276, London, SW8 5DT.

 


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