Two students having a conversation indoors

Rules and regulations

Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that the accommodation they provide is safe and in a good state of repair.

Specific safety issues to be aware of when renting private accommodation include:

Fire safety

There are different requirements depending on the type of property. Properties let as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) require fire precaution measures to be specified by the local authority. If you have any doubts about the requirement contact your local Environmental Health Office for advice.

Even if the property is not classed as an HMO, it is a legal requirement for a landlord to provide smoke detectors on each floor of the property

It is essential that you do not tamper with any fire protection measures that have been provided in the property.

Gas safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it is now a legal requirement for landlords to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in a safe condition and to ensure that they are checked at least every 12 months by a GAS SAFE registered engineer. You should be provided with a copy of the annual Gas Safety Certificate covering all gas appliances before you move into a property.

Electrical safety

Major causes of fire are substandard electrical wiring, overloading electrical socket, the use of faulty electrical appliances or the use of too many appliances. The landlord has a responsibility to ensure that the wiring and appliances are safe and in good working order. However, it is your responsibility to check the condition of the appliances you bring into the property. Do not overload the electricity supply and report any hazards to your landlord.

Furniture safety

Legislation now in force is intended to improve the safety of let and furnished accommodation. All furniture provided must comply to the requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988/89.

Further information can be obtained from the Trading Standards Office.

Security

To minimise the risk of break-ins and to improve personal safety, it is important to be aware of potential security risks and always use security measures provided.

Repairs

Once you have moved into your property, the landlord has a duty to maintain the property to a reasonable standard and should keep all services in proper repair and working order.

You should always contact your landlord as soon as you are aware of a problem in the property. It is strongly recommended that you send your request for a repair by email and keep a copy.

If you are experiencing problems with your landlord not carrying out repairs you should contact the Council Housing Services Department. They will give you further advice and can also use their powers to insist works are carried out within a specified timescale.

You can also contact Tenancy Advice on +44 (0)117 32 82676.

Energy Proficiency Certificate (EPC)

The landlord must provide an EPC within the property, this is valid for ten years. For more information about an EPC certificate please check the Government EPC guidelines.

Accommodation documents

Helpful information to support your time in University accommodation. Includes guides to keeping the peace and accommodating each other. View accommodation documents.

Learn more about UWE Bristol accommodation

Get in touch with our Accommodation enquiries.

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