The BRLA 'Best Landlord' Accreditation Scheme

Accredited Property Standards 

All properties shall meet the following minimum standards to qualify for accreditation 

1.       Primary Structures

The property shall be structurally stable, i.e. be of substantially sound condition and free from significant or progressive structural defects such as: 

  • Distortion or spreading of roof structures and chimneys
  • Distortion and the cracking of walls and non-continuity of wall-ties
  • Excessively sloping or collapsed floors
  • Distortion, integrity and movement of the foundations 
The property shall be free from serious disrepair, i.e. the deterioration of the building elements and fixtures such as:
  • Loose and leaning chimney pots
  • Loose masonry
  • Leaking roof
  • Rotten or sticking windows and doors                                                                                                         

 The property shall be free from: 

  • Significant areas of rising damp prejudicial to health
  • Penetrating damp
  • Excessive condensation attributed to the structure of the property.  (The Tenants should be made aware of their duty to ventilate and heat the property to help minimise condensation)
  • Significant defects to plasterwork

 In addition: 

  • The gutters and fall pipes to the property shall be of sound construction and free from obstruction
  • All boundary walls, paths and outbuildings shall be maintained, stable and in good repair
  • Gardens shall be maintained and must not be overgrown or detrimental to the appearance of the area.  Tenants shall be informed of their responsibilities
  • The external repair and decoration of the property shall be maintained in good order and must not be detrimental to the appearance of the area

 2.      At the beginning of the tenancy:  

  • Internal decoration shall be in good condition
  • The property shall be clean and in good order
  • Adequate refuse disposal facilities shall be provided
  • All aspects of the property and the equipment provided shall be in good working order

3.       Freedom from hazards: 

  • All properties shall be inspected annually with regard to the 29 hazards identified in the Housing Health & Safety Rating System.   Please note that it is the landlords’ responsibility to identify hazards and to take any necessary action. (Information and check lists are contained in the ‘Forms’ section of the website)
  • All furnishings and furniture provided by the landlord shall be clean, in a good condition and comply as appropriate with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations
  • Floor coverings on stairs and floors should be in good condition and be firmly secured, so as not to cause a trip hazard

4.       Space heating:  

  • Heating should be controllable by the occupants, and safely and properly installed and maintained.  It should be appropriate to the design, layout and construction, such that the whole of the property can be adequately heated
  • Clear written instructions in the safe use of all space heating and hot water systems shall be provided to the Tenants
  • Portable bottled gas or paraffin heaters shall not be allowed
  • Oil fired heating systems, and solid fuel systems shall be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

5.       Gas Installations and Appliances:  

  • All means of use and supply of mains gas and alterations and repairs to gas installations shall comply with current Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations
  • Documentation giving verification of annual gas safety checks by a Gas Safety registered gas engineer shall be provided to Tenants  

6.       Electrical Installations and Appliances: 

The property shall have adequate provision of electrical socket outlets: 

  • All living rooms shall have a minimum of two double socket outlets
  • Bedrooms shall have a minimum of two double sockets per double room and one double socket per single room
  • The hall and landing shall have an electrical socket outlet (subject to size and practicalities of the property layout)
  • Dedicated socket outlets shall be provided for refrigerator/refrigerator-freezer, and washing machine (where applicable)
  • A dedicated cooker outlet shall be provided where appropriate
  • A minimum of one double socket shall be provided above the kitchen worktop
  • All consumer unit circuits shall be clearly identified and properly labelled
  • All electrical installations provided by the landlord shall be certified as safe by a competent electrician in accordance with current legislation
  • A document of verification shall be made available to the Tenant showing that the electrical wiring of the properties is in a safe and satisfactory condition and stipulating the timescale within which the next safety check should be carried out
  • All components used in electrical wiring installations and repairs shall comply with the relevant Standards and all appliances shall be installed in accordance with Manufacturers instructions
  • Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that all electrical appliances provided by the landlord under the terms of the tenancy are functioning effectively, in accordance with manufacturers’ operational limits, and in a safe manner. 
  • Appliances shall be regularly visually inspected for wear and tear and any defects remedied 
  • Instructions in the safe use of electrical appliances (including cookers, space and water heaters) shall be provided to the Tenants 

7.       Energy Efficiency: 

All properties shall be provided with a reasonable level of energy efficiency measures and to include as a minimum -

  • Exposed pipes lagged
  • Hot water tank lagging of 70 mm
  • 270 mm insulation to roof void areas 
  • Draught proofing to all windows and doors where necessary
  • Cavity walls insulated

In addition

  • All properties shall have a current Energy Performance Certificate within the range of A to E. 
  • Energy efficiency improvements should be incorporated into refurbishment schemes 

8.       Kitchen Facilities:  

There shall be satisfactory provisions for the preparation and cooking of food which are suitable for the number of occupants using the kitchen including:-

  • Sink and drainer, with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water with a sealed and cleanable splash back
  • Cooker point
  • Worktop at least 1000 mm x 500 mm, tables are not acceptable
  • Storage cupboards; food storage below a sink is not acceptable
  • Space for a refrigerator/refrigerator-freezer
  • If space is allocated for a washing machine, a dedicated electrical socket outlet, water supply and drainage shall be provided 

9.       Bathroom Facilities:

  • There shall be an internal WC for the exclusive use of Tenants
  • There shall be a suitably located fixed bath or shower and wash-hand basin, each of which is provided with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water and a suitable splash-back.
  • There shall be an effective drainage system for foul, waste and surface water

10.     Windows: 

  • All replacement windows shall comply with Building Regulations or FENSA requirements and due regard should be given to the provision of fire escape windows 
  • Safety glass shall be installed in accordance with current regulations 

11.     Lighting:  

  • All rooms shall be provided with at least one permanent light fitting suitably located to enable normal activities to be carried out without eyestrain   

12.     Ventilation: 

  • The property shall have adequate ventilation to all rooms either from an openable window or by mechanical ventilation 
  • There shall be means of rapid ventilation at times of high moisture production in kitchens and bathrooms 

13.     Security Measures: 

  • External doors shall be of a strong, solid and safe construction, well fitting and fitted with a 5-lever mortise lock or equivalent.  The doorframes shall be strong and well secured.   
  • Consideration shall be given to fitting door safety chains and door viewers where necessary and practicable
  • All ground floor windows and any upper storey windows easily accessible from the ground or any adjoining structure shall be of sound construction and fitted with window locks 
  • Keys to all window locks shall be provided to Tenants
  • If a burglar alarm is fitted, it should be maintained and should have a 20 minute cut out and a key holder nominated
  • Consideration should be given to the provision of external security lighting 

14.     Fire Protection: 

  • All properties shall be fitted with mains wired interlinked smoke detectors which comply with BS 5446 Part 1, located one per floor.  Wherever possible these shall be fitted in the circulation areas (normally hallways and landings) complying with BS 5839 Part 6 Grade D
  • In 2 storey properties where the stairs lead down into the kitchen, a smoke detector shall be fitted to the living room and a heat detector to the kitchen; both interlinked to the smoke detector on the landing. There shall also be a solid and well fitting internal door fitted to the base of the stairs
  • In 3 storey properties where the stairs lead down into the kitchen the same applies, as for 2 storey, but a half-hour fire resistant door, with smoke seals, shall be fitted at the base of the stairs
  • As a temporary alternative all properties without hard wired interlinked detectors shall be fitted with battery operated smoke detectors, located one per floor.  Wherever possible these shall be fitted in the circulation areas (normally hallways and landings) complying with BS 5446 Part 1. In addition, where the stairs lead down into the kitchen a battery operated head detector shall also be fitted to the kitchen.  Batteries to be of a minimum guaranteed 2 year life
  • All smoke and fire detectors shall be properly maintained and Tenants shall be made aware of their responsibilities for their regular testing
  • There shall be adequate and safe means of escape in case of fire 

15.    Carbon Monoxide alarms:

  • All properties shall be fitted with at least one carbon monoxide alarm, located and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Alarms shall be properly maintained and Tenants shall be made aware of their responsibilities for their regular testing

16.    Stairs and handrails:

  • A handrail shall be securely fitted on all internal staircases to the property, including the cellar. Where appropriate external handrails should be fitted
  • All stairs and steps inside and outside the property shall be of good sound construction, safe design and be in a good state of repair

17.    Tenants information pack:

A tenants Information pack, containing the following items, shall be provided to the tenant: 

  • A current gas safety certificate (to be renewed annually)
  • A current electrical safety certificate (to be renewed on or before expiry)
  • An Energy Performance Certificate within the A to E range.
  • Copies of all user instructions applicable to the premises
  • A contents list / inventory - signed and dated by both parties
  • The Deposit Certificate and Tenancy Deposit information as required
  • Landlord contact details 
  • Gas, electricity and water shut off point details 
  • Gas and electricity supplier details for the premises 
  • Information for the tenant regarding giving notice 
  • Tenants Notice to Landlord to end the Tenancy 
  • Information for the tenant outlining the procedure for leaving the premises, at the end of the tenancy
  • A copy of the Complaints Procedure for Tenants
  • A copy of the Landlords Accreditation Certificate
Please note that HMO licence regulations take precedence over accreditation requirements.
 

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