Tenants Guide

We believe in being completely transparent with Tenants regarding their rights and responsibilities.

Health and Safety

Your Landlord/s and Letting Agents have a responsibility to ensure the property you live in is free from health hazards and safety risks.

Bourne Estate Agents work closely with our Landlords to ensure they are aware of their legal responsibilities and are kept informed of any changes to legislation regarding health and safety. Below are some of the key areas you should check regarding any property you are considering renting:

● Energy Assessments - EPC

From 1st October 2008 all landlords in England and Wales are required by law to provide their new tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A Landlord is responsible for providing a valid EPC whether they are managing the property themselves or using an Agent.

● Gas Regulations

Landlords must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and carry out all work and maintenance via a Gas Safe registered engineer. They are also legally responsible for arranging an annual gas safety check, and certificates must be provided to the Tenant and Agent and retained for at least 2 years.

● Fire Regulations

Any furniture left in the property must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1993). These relate to the provision of upholstered furniture. If any furniture does not comply with the regulations and carry an appropriate label, it should be removed and/or replaced.

● Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

Private sector Landlords are required as a minimum to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Thereafter, the Landlord is responsible for ensuring the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

● Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia which can potentially be fatal, especially to young children, the elderly or infirm. It is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water which contains Legionella. Man-made hot and cold water systems could potentially provide an environment where Legionella can grow. Landlords have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their Tenants, including prevention of health hazards such as Legionnaires’ disease. Domestic hot and cold water systems which are well maintained, and

used regularly minimise the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria. Other simple controls to help minimise the risk of exposure can include:

  • Flushing through the water system prior to letting the property
  • Remove any redundant pipework
  • Showers which have not been used for a period of time should be run prior to use
  • Run cold water taps, especially where used for drinking purposes, for a short period following holidays or where the property has been empty for a while
  • Prevent debris entering into the system (for example ensure the cold water tanks have a tight fitting lid)
  • Set appropriate temperature controls (for example hot water stored in a cylinder should be stored at 60°C)

● General Rights and Responsibilities

We have attached a government issued ‘How to Rent’ Guide which outlines many of the legal aspects to consider when you rent a property.

The Lettings Team at Bourne will be happy to help you with any queries you have regarding your rights and responsibilities as a Tenant.