While there are many, many things a good landlord should do, the actual list of 'must dos' is quite short - but gas and electricity are definitely on that list.
Feel free to not replace the carpets just because the tenant demands new ones, or haggle away over the cost of decorating, but cutting costs on essential gas or electrical work is a complete no-no.
There is simply no excuse for not complying with gas safety laws - it is explicitly laid out. From the meter to the appliances, all equipment must be inspected annually and before new tenants move in.
Don't even think about getting your handyman mate to do it - unless he or she is a fully qualified engineer on the Gas Safe Register. You may well hear the word 'Corgi' used - this was the predecessor organization to Gas Safe.
The engineer will either issue a certificate or work that must be completed before it is, and the certificate must be shared with your tenants. Not following these rules leads to prosecution at best.
But at worst, negligence can lead to injury or death from faulty gas appliances - badly maintained gas equipment can explode or emit carbon monoxide which is extremely poisonous, but does not have a smell or taste.
While electrical rules are not as legally binding as their gas counterparts, it is probably wise to treat them in a similar way.
Your property should have a full inspection before tenants move in - a qualified electrician should check everything from the wiring to switches and plugs and any appliances you are including for your tenants.
While any recommendations are not legally binding - yet - it is advisable to get the work done and have it all rechecked every five years. Your insurer may well insist on this as a condition of coverage.
And appliances included with your property should also be PAT tested each year - but you have no responsibility for the tenants' own electrical goods.
While you need two separate inspections, conveniently many engineers are qualified and registered with both Gas Safe and the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers and Contractors and can do both jobs for you.
And as a last 'must', make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of the property - cellar and loft included - and a carbon monoxide detector by open fire places.
For full advice on gas regulations visit www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm, and for electrical guidance visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-landlords/.
If you want to talk about the musts of property rentals with our friendly team just call us on 01780 756305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org