Welcome to the second Property News post. If you are already reaching for the ‘Unsubscribe’ button please rest assured that this blog is not selling anything, it is to keep Landlords informed of relevant market information and/or Landlord legal obligations.
Today I will be going over the imminent smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations coming into effect on 1 October 2015. New regulations on Section 21s will follow.
There was some hope that the Government would delay rolling out these new regs till January due to the lack of time to prepare, unfortunately they decided to go ahead.
In short, from 1 October 2015:
- All residential properties MUST have a working smoke alarm on each floor of a property being used as ‘living accommodation’. My interpretation of that would be any floor which includes a room that is used as part of the Tenancy. EG: a shower room or toilet on it’s own floor or possibly an attic to be included (better safe than sorry).
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room being used as living accommodation where solid fuel is being used (coal, wood).
Points of Note:
- Landlord obligations are to ensure the alarms are fully functioning at the start of the Tenancy (not 1 week before). This could be covered by your property letting agent.
- Landlords can choose between hard wired or battery operated alarms.
- Tenants are responsible for maintenance and care during the Tenancy if battery operated.
- Carbon Monoxide alarms are rather bizarrely not legally required for gas or oil heating, it is recommended though.
Does not apply to:
- Live in Landlords (IE having a lodger)
- HMO Landlords (covered in HMO regs)
- Social Landlords
- Long lease Landlords (leases more than 7 years)
- If a breach occurs the Local Authority (LA) will give the Landlord 28 days to rectify by issuing a remedial notice.
- Landlords must take all reasonable steps in order to comply.
- Regs do not state that legal proceedings against Tenants that may be preventing installation is necessary.
- If the 28 days passes and the Landlord has not taken all reasonable steps to fit the alarm(s) the LA can arrange for this to be carried out directly with the Tenants and serve a penalty notice of up to ¬£5000.00. Any LA fitting/admin costs are not included in this figure.
- There is a Residential Property Tribunal which the Landlord can approach if it is felt the process/fine was unfair.
The Regulations & Guidance:
Is there any good news?
- Some local fire and rescue services are offering free alarms, if interested have a look here
And yes, you are probably thinking the same thing as me -“Beeping hell”!