As a new landlord there are many things to think about including looking after your property portfolio, managing cashflow, collecting rent, upkeep and maintenance and promoting vacant properties. Of course one of the most important things that you need to consider is the safety of your tenants and the things that could potentially threaten that such as mould, loose masonry, gas leaks or malfunctioning electrical equipment.
To lower the risk of these threats it is essential that you keep on top of building maintenance and perform any necessary annual checks to the required standard.
If your property has any gas supply for a hob or central heating for example then it is important that annual safety checks are performed by a certified engineer. The checks are thorough and ensure that the gas supply is correctly fitted with no corroding pipes or lose connections.
They also check to make sure that the deadly Carbon Monoxide gas is not being produced. This gas is a silent killer and has taken prey many victims in rented properties where the equipment has not been checked out properly. Consider installing a Carbon monoxide monitor as an additional precaution.
Once the checks have been performed you will receive a certificate declaring your gas supply and equipment safe and fit for purpose. The engineer keeps a copy, presents one to your tenants and you receive a copy too ensuring that everyone has access to the information.
Another important thing to check are any electrical appliances that you are providing, including all white goods. When these items have been checked they should be fitted with compliance stickers around the wire near the plug with a re-test date on them. Again this is an annual check so do keep a record of when they will be due for a test again.
Doing It Yourself
If you are planning to own a number of properties it may be beneficial to train yourself to perform these tests to save paying out for a professional for each property. It is possible to test things yourself using equipment bought from a specialist shop such as PASS but ensure that you are knowledgeable enough to do so before performing checks yourself.
These specialist machines are simple to use and come with full instructional guides, however you can also attend training courses to make sure that you feel confident using the equipment and testing it correctly. You will also need to have liability insurance to cover yourself in the case of any malfunctions or failures of equipment that might be attributed to your negligence.