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A tenant cannot move into any home without being given copies of certain documents and safety certificates. The law has introduced new documents to be included in recent years, as well as new penalties for landlords not producing these documents and providing copies to your tenants


All properties that have a gas supply must have an annual gas safety test carried out. The test can only be carried out by an engineer registered with and on the gas safe register. The gas safe register replaced corgi registration in Great Britain in 2009.

It is a legal requirement for an annual gas safety test to be carried out. Under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. A landlord must:

Arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a gas safety check every 12 months.

Provide the tenant with a copy of the landlord gas safety record before a tenant moves in to a property and then again within 28 days of the annual check taking place.

Maintain the gas appliances, pipework and flues they provide in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

In order to help landlords comply with the legislation, a landlord is able to have a new gas safety test carried out up to 60 days before the expiry of the existing one without losing any time on the validity of the certificate.

Failure to adhere to this legislation could result in a substantial fine or imprisonment.

The Deregulation Act 2015 made it a legal requirement to provide tenants with copies of a valid gas safety record, Energy Performance Certificate and a copy of the most up to date How to Rent Guide before the tenancy begins. Penalty for not providing these documents under the Act means that landlords cannot gain possession of their property by way of a Section 21 notice. It is therefore imperative to not only provide these documents, but also best practice to have dated proof that the documents have been given to your tenant.


On 01st July 2020 The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect. No tenant could start a new tenancy from this date without the property having a full electrical safety test. From 01 April 2021 the Regulations were extended to include to all existing rental properties.

The Electrical test must be carried out by a qualified person, and once completed a report is issued which will be an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The electrician will categorise any issues that he identifies on the report. The categories are as follows:

  • Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. A new tenant cannot move into a property if any code 1’s are identified until these are rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician cannot leave the property until he has made the Code 1 hazard safe.
  • Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous. Urgent remedial action required. A new tenant cannot move into a property until any Code 2’s have been rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician must ensure there is no danger to the tenants and rectify the fault as soon as possible.
  • Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Code 3’s are advisory for landlords. Tenants can move into properties that have code 3’s. A landlord may choose to have the recommended works attended to, but isn’t legally required to. An example of a code 3 could be a fuse board not to 17th edition BS7671. This fuse board hasn’t been identified as being unsafe, it just isn’t the type that is now installed in newer properties. 

Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay. A new tenant cannot move into a property with an F1, the F1 fault needs to be

  • investigated and rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician must ensure there is no danger to the tenants and rectify the fault as soon as possible.


Failure to comply to these regulations can result in the Local Authority imposing large financial penalties for landlords. Tenants could also separately take a landlord to court and be awarded compensation if it is deemed that the property is unfit under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 which could include unsafe electrics.



An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows how energy efficient a home is. Homes are rated on a score of A – G (with A being the most energy efficient). The certificate includes recommendations detailing what can be done to make a home more energy efficient. Some recommendations would not be too costly to implement, such as changing light bulbs to energy efficient ones, other recommendations could be much more costly, such as changing the heating system.

The current requirements are set out in the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, which came into effect on 9 January 2013, although they have been amended since, and also the Building Regulations 2010.

In 2008 it became a legal requirement to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate for all properties that were being placed on the rental market. The Government introduced the legislation to spread awareness of how much energy a home was using.

On 1st April 2020 the Government went either further with the legislation in an effort to make properties more energy efficient by making it illegal to rent out a property that had an EPC rating of F or G (certain exemptions apply).

There is a private members bill being debated at the moment The Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill’ asking for all properties to have a rating of a C or lower by 2030. If this becomes legislation it will be very unwelcome news for many landlords. With this in mind, be aware of any improvements that you make to your properties and always look for ways to make them more energy efficient where you can.

Criteria that is considered when assessing a properties’ energy rating will include:

  • the type of building (i.e. flat, house or bungalow) and whether it is detached or not · the age of the building · the number of habitable rooms (excluding kitchens, bathroom hallways, stairs and landings) · extensions and their construction and rooms in the roof · the dimensions of the building and the number of floors · the amount and type of glazing (i.e. single or double glazing) · the material used to build the property (e.g. brick, stone, timber frame, etc.) · wall insulation · roof construction (e.g. flat, pitched) and insulation · the number of chimneys and open flues · the heating systems and the type of fuel used (source

An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years. Under The Deregulation Act 2015 it became a requirement to ensure that tenants had been given a copy of their EPC prior to starting a tenancy, and if this did not happen then the landlord would be unable to regain their property by way of a Section 21 notice.


Landlords have a duty to ensure that they have carried out a risk assessment at their rental property to ensure that there is very low risk of a tenant becoming unwell due to the presence of legionella bacteria. Several pieces of legislation cover this duty. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants with regard to their health and safety. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provides a framework of actions to control the risk from a range of hazardous substances, including biological agents (eg Legionella) - to identify and assess the risk, and implement any necessary measures to control any risk Landlords must ensure that the risk from exposure to Legionella in their premises is properly controlled. Since the L8 Approved Code of Practice (3rd edition) (ACOP) was published in 2001, there has been a requirement for landlords of both domestic and business premises to assess the risks from exposure to Legionella to their tenants.

Legionella are bacteria that are common in natural water (rivers and lakes etc) and artificial water systems, e.g. hot and cold water systems (storage tanks, pipework, spa baths, taps and showers). Legionella bacteria can multiply in hot or cold-water systems and storage tanks in residential properties, and then spread, e.g. in spray from showers and taps. Although there is generally higher water temperature throughout, and a relatively low volume of water held in smaller water systems, which in turn reduces the likelihood of the bacteria reaching dangerous concentrations, you must still carry out a risk assessment to identify and assess potential sources of exposure. Legionella bacteria thrive between 20 C and 45 C. Temperatures above 50 C will kill the bacteria. The infection is caused by the inhalation of water droplets or spray mists which have been contaminated by the bacteria.

Specific areas of concern in small domestic systems are mainly to do with stagnation. Your property is likely to have adequate water flow throughout when occupied, but there may be times when outlets are unused for extended periods, or there could be old, redundant pipework which is allowing water to stagnate.


Risk assessments should be compliant with current legislation. Risks to be considered are: poorly designed and maintained Cold water tanks, or tanks with a missing or poorly fitting lid. Hot water taps and pipes that are not achieving temperatures of at least 60 C. Shower heads fouled with limescale and / or microbiological growth. Poor disinfection procedures after refurbishments or new installations. Non WRG compliant materials (i.e. natural rubber liners in flexible fittings). Landlords also need to consider if their tenant could be more vulnerable and therefore susceptible to legionella bacteria, eg elderly, ill, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Your risk assessment has to identify any potential source of exposure and steps must be taken to actively prevent or control any risks that are identified. Records should be taken and kept for a period of at least 5 years.

Steps that can be taken to reduce risks include: raising the temperature of warm water (this has to be balanced out against the risk of any possible risk of burns / scalding). Disinfecting the system, make sure that no water can stagnate anywhere, insulate pipework, and keeping cisterns covered and free of any debris

 What we are doing:

 We are informing our Landlords about the legislation and that the law states that Landlords are responsible for carrying out these risk assessments.

  • We will be making all new Tenants moving into properties aware of precautions that they should take (by handing out some written information to them).
  • For our Fully Manged and Rent Collection Landlords we will organise a legionella risk assessment 2 yearly (charges apply)
  • For properties that we manage: If we receive a report from a Tenant or contractor of a property defect that may result in there being a risk of Legionella bacteria arising, we will arrange remedial works as deemed necessary by a competent contractor (charges to Landlord will apply)


The ‘How to Rent Guide’ is an informative booklet, designed and produced by the Government, it advises tenants on their rights regarding renting a property. The guide covers topics such as: how much deposit a landlord can legally ask for, if a landlord or agent can charge any fees to a tenant plus lots of practical information that is useful for a tenant to know.

To ensure that all tenants looking to rent a property have been given a copy of the guide, under The Deregulation Act 2015 it became a condition that the most up to date guide is given to a tenant by the agent / landlord, prior to a tenancy commencing. If this does not happen then the landlord is prevented from gaining possession of his property by way of a Section 21 notice.

The most up to date version of the guide van be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england


Please be advised it isn’t enough just to ‘have’ all the correct certificates in place. Part of The Deregulation Act 2015 legislation is that you have to have given your tenants copes of all of these …… and be able to prove that you have done this.

Tenants are entitled to up-to-date copies of the following as a minimum:

Electrical safety cert, gas safety cert, how to rent guide, deposit prescribed information and scheme rules, EPC, property licence certificate.

Other documents that must be provided if available (and if not available will affect deposit deductions and rent guarantee claims): inventory, legionella risk assessment.


 Debbie Jones Cert CIH, FARLA 12 September 2023