What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

What Certificates to Landlords Need - 8 Landlord Safety Certificates

Let’s Discuss The Safety Certificates Landlords Need to Let Out Property in Scotland

So, what certificates do landlords need to let out their property in compliance with UK law, and Scottish law?

Here’s our handy list of the 8 safety certificates required by landlords in Scotland:

  1. Smoke & Heat Alarm Certificate
  2. EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report
  3. Gas Safety Certificate – CP12 Report
  4. LRA – Legionella Risk Assessment Certificate
  5. EPC – Energy Performance Certificate
  6. PAT – Portable Appliance Testing
  7. BS 5266 Emergency Lighting Certificate *HMO Only
  8. Portable Fire Extinguisher Report *HMO Only

 

1. Smoke & Heat Alarm Certificate – BS 5839 Report

We’ve chosen to place landlord Smoke & Heat certificates first in our list of safety certificates due to recent law changes made in February of 2022.

If you want to learn about the changes to fire safety law, and how they affect landlords, AND homeowners in Scotland, check out our article.

ALL HOMES in Scotland must be fitted with a satisfactory fire detection & warning system in order to meet the tolerable standard.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: As a landlord, you must have a certificate which proves your property has the smoke alarms and heat alarms required, and that they’re installed to a satisfactory standard, and compliant with regulation as it applies to landlords.

Minimum Fire detector requirements in Scottish homes

All homes in Scotland require a minimum of:

1 smoke alarm in every living-room
1 smoke alarm in every hallway/landing
1 heat alarm in every kitchen

If your property IS NOT a HMO (this will apply to most homes) you are legally required to have your rental property’s smoke alarms and heat alarms checked once every 10 years, although we’d recommend having your property’s fire alarms checked on a yearly basis. Smoke & heat alarms can cease to function unexpectedly, which may go unnoticed, until it’s too late.

If your property IS a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) you are legally required to have your smoke & heat alarms checked every year.

To learn more about Fire Safety Requirements for Landlords, watch our video on YouTube.

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2. EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is a formal document produced following a comprehensive inspection of a property’s electrical installation by a qualified electrician.

The EICR will give details of the property’s electrical installation, noting any damage, deterioration, defects, and/or conditions that may give rise to danger, along with notes detailing recommended improvements.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: To ensure the safety of your tenants, your rental property must have an EICR completed BEFORE tenants move in. EICR certificates expire after a maximum of 5 years, although, depending on the quality of the property’s electrical installation, a competent electrician may advise an inspection to take place sooner than 5 years.

What Certificates do Landlords Need - EICR Certificate

Our electricians can perform remedial works to bring a property’s installation up to the UK standard, or, if you’d prefer, you could arrange these remedial works with another contractor of your preference.

To learn about EICRs, and how Quinnergy can save you time and money, check out this article.

Watch this video to see our EICR process in action.

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3. Gas Safety Certificate – CP12 Report

A Gas Safety Certificate / CP12 Report is a formal document produced following an inspection of a property’s gas installation. This certificate proves that a property’s boiler and gas system is being maintained, is safe, and in line with British standards.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: All rental homes in Scotland must have a valid gas safety certificate completed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

What Certificates do Landlords Need - Gas Safety Certificate

Landlord Gas Safety Certificates expire after 12 months, but should be kept for at least 2 years. Gas safety certificates MUST be renewed before the 12-month expiry date.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 enables landlords to have their gas safety check up to 2 months before the date of expiry of the previous certificate, and still retain the original deadline date, as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check.

The UK Gas Safe Register doesn’t provide a standard form for gas safety certificates, so documentation and paperwork will vary depending on the landlord compliance company you choose to work with.
Our certificates are presented in the most accessible format for quickly viewing key information.

To learn more about Landlord Gas Safety Certificates, and how Quinnergy can save you time and money, check out this article.

To see our Gas Engineers performing a gas safety inspection in a Scottish rental property, watch this video on YouTube.

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4. LRA – Legionella Risk Assessment Certificate

Legionella is a form of bacteria typically found in water systems such as water tanks, pipes, and air conditioning units.

If conditions are favourable, legionella bacteria may grow, increasing the risk to your tenants of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionella Risk Assessments are a legal requirement for Landlords in the UK, and non-compliance could result in large fines, and even imprisonment.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: Landlords, as duty-holders, should keep records of all inspections, and actions taken to prevent outbreak of legionaries’ disease in their properties. This is not a legal requirement, but certainly a prudent thing to do because if your tenant becomes seriously ill due to an outbreak of legionnaires disease, you would be criminally liable.

What Certificates do Landlords Need - Legionella Risk Assessment

There is no legislation which directs landlords to have an LRA completed every X amount of years, but landlords do have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety tenants by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards like legionnaires’ disease.

The recurrence rate of legionella risk assessments in Scottish properties is different for every property, but we’d would advise any duty-holder managing a rental property to have an LRA done every year to stay on the safe side; bacteria grows fast!

Here’s an official publication from the UK Health and Safety Executive regarding the control of Legionellosis in water systems: Link to Article

Watch our LRA service explainer video to learn more about our Legionella Risk Assessment service for landlords.

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5. EPC – Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate is a report issued by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) after they have conducted a formal evaluation of how energy efficient a building is. An EPC rates a building’s energy efficiency from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).

A property’s EPC gives owners an indication how costly it will be to power and heat the property, and roughly what its carbon dioxide emissions will be.

An EPC also contains helpful suggestions to improve a property’s energy efficiency, which will contribute towards a higher energy efficiency rating.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: By law, all landlords and letting agents must have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) in place for any property that they advertise for rent.

What Certificates do landlords need - EPC Certificate

An EPC remains valid for 10 years, although it’s advised to renew your EPC after the completion of works which are likely to affect your property’s energy efficiency rating (eg: upgrading to double-glazed windows, changing your heating system, switching to energy efficient lighting, etc).

After 10 years, another energy efficiency assessment must be arranged to produce a new EPC Certificate.

To learn more about our EPC inspection process, read our article, or watch our video on YouTube.

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6. PAT – Portable Appliance Testing

Private landlords in Scotland are required, by law, to ensure their rental property, and the appliances within it, meet the repairing standard outlined in The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 at the start of a tenancy, and throughout a tenancy.

All appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy MUST be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: Landlords are required to obtain a PAT certificate before entering into a tenancy agreement, and provide it to the tenant upon entering into a new tenancy agreement or upon completion of a new PAT certificate. Landlords must keep the PAT certificate for 6 years following the date of the appliance inspection.

What Certificates do Landlords Need - PAT Certificate

 

A PAT certificate expires 5 years after the date of inspection, but landlords must keep PAT certificates for 6 years.

There is no mandatory inspection rate, although landlords have a legal duty to ensure their appliances are in a reasonable state of repair, and in proper working order throughout the duration of the tenancy.

A lot can happen in 5 years–that’s over 260 weeks!–which is why we usually advise to have portable appliances in rental properties tested every year.

To learn more about our PAT process, check out our video on YouTube.

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7. Emergency Lighting Certificate – BS 5266 Report *HMO Only

The law surrounding emergency lighting in HMOs is multi-layered, variable-dependent, and technical, so rather than bore you with legal jargon, we’ll summarise, in a general sense, what is required of landlords managing HMO properties.

The most essential emergency lighting requirements for HMO Properties in Scotland are:

  • HMOs must have emergency fire exit signage, clearly visible, directing tenants toward the nearest, or only fire exit, and;
  • HMOs must have emergency lighting which adequately illuminates all fire exit routes in the property in the event of a power cut.

The legislation applies much like common sense here: If it seems inadequate, it probably is.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: Although emergency lighting certificates aren’t listed in any single piece of UK legislation, landlords are required to have the emergency lighting in their HMO fully tested every year, and functional operation should be tested at least every month. The results of these inspections must be recorded in accordance with British Standards BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-1-8:2004.

What Certificates do Landlords Need - Emergency Lighting ReportDepending on the size and locality of the HMO, Emergency Lighting should last a total of 1-3 hours when disconnected from the mains power.

Landlords have a general duty to mitigate all reasonably foreseeable fire risks within their HMO property, and any defects in a property’s emergency lighting system should be addressed and repaired as soon as reasonably possible.

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8. Portable Fire Extinguisher Certificate – BS 5306 Report *HMO Only

Fire extinguishers are probably one of the most undervalued safety precautions out there, but they’re doubtlessly one of the first things your tenants would scramble to find if a small fire broke out in your HMO property.

Fire Extinguishers should therefore be located in an easily visible and accessible location, preferably wall-mounted, that’s less than 30 metres from potential fire-sources.

Q: What Certificates Do Landlords Need?

A: HMOs in Scotland are legally required to contain appropriate means for fighting fire which is subject to a regular schedule of maintenance. Failure on either of these points is a criminal offence. Most inspectors will offer certificates as validation that a property’s fire fighting equipment is present, positioned adequately, and in good working order.

What Certificates do landlords need - Fire Extinguisher Requirements

Most HMOs in Scotland will require at least one fire extinguisher in the main hallway, and one fire blanket in the kitchen.

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We are Scotland’s Landlord Compliance Specialists, and we do all required safety checks in one quick visit.

If you’ve made it this far, you must be serious about landlord compliance, in which case, consider checking out our Property Compliance Packages for landlords: Landlord Property Compliance Packages.

We hope we’ve helped you answer the question: what certificates do landlords need?

If you have any questions about landlord compliance, Quinnergy has the answers; give us a call to see how we can make your life easier: 01355 201206

 

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