By Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA).
With new changes to the law protecting tenants against so called retaliatory evictions the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) believes that registering appliances is an easy step towards ensuring tenants are kept safe and happy.
From 1 October, unscrupulous landlords will need to be wary of a change to the law introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015. This contains provisions suspending the operation of Section 21 notices to terminate tenancies, in order to protect a tenant against retaliatory eviction. Retaliatory Eviction occurs where a landlord takes steps to end a tenancy because the tenant has complained about the condition of the property.
However, the Deregulation Act 2015 also serves as a timely reminder to even the most responsible of landlords and letting agents that the homes they provide should pass muster and more importantly are safe. On top of the legal obligations of ensuring that all gas and electrical equipment supplied is safely installed and maintained, landlords and agents should also be encouraged to take a few minutes to register all the property’s appliances on www.registermyappliance.co.uk.
Whilst safety recalls on large white goods are rare, with only 6-10 recalls a year, there are 100 million models in use in homes across the UK and if a problem arises it is vitally important that landlords or agents with the affected models can be contacted quickly to ensure their tenant’s safety. Normally a free, quick, in-home fix by a qualified engineer will rectify the problem and ensure many further years of safe use.
Registermyappliance.org.uk is a user friendly website, created by AMDEA, providing quick access to the registration pages of over 60 leading brands of domestic appliances. Importantly, for this safety initiative, on this site a landlord can register both new and older appliances, up to 12 years old. This fast and easy admin job, suited to the ultra- busy private landlord and agents, will improve the safety of the property and the lifespan of the appliances provided. It will also safeguard against any accusations of supplying appliances which contain an identified fault.
It is important to flag up the importance of registermyappliance.org.uk, especially to any new clients who are new to buy-to-let. They may not have grappled with all the legal requirements, let alone the safety issues of a property. Remind them also of the importance of installing smoke alarms on every floor of the property, carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms and to book annual gas safety checks on all gas appliances in the property.
From here on in, responsible landlords and agents can be assured that if a safety repair becomes necessary that they will be contacted quickly. And for tenants, it should reduce the need to raise issues about the safety of appliances themselves, while meaning they can rest assured that their landlord or agent has their safety in mind.
Top tips- keeping appliances in tiptop condition and ensuring a long life:
- Register all the property’s appliances today registermyappliance.org.uk
- Check against the Recall Listing http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/products/recall-list/
- Install fridges and freezers in a dry, well ventilated room
- Fridges and freezers are designed to live indoors – don’t install them in garages
- Don’t overload electrical sockets.
- Leave copies of all relevant appliance instruction manuals for tenants to read.