I need to share an urgent reminder to Landlords that Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations became law on the 1st of October 2015 meaning that all properties in England – whether existing tenancies or new tenancies – will need to comply with the new regulations. If local authorities are notified that a property is not compliant, the landlord will be issued with a remedial notice which will allow them 28 days to comply. There are two points that require your urgent attention and action:
1) Landlords have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
2) There must be a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains a ‘solid fuel*’ appliance.
*Solid Fuel includes wood, coal etc.
Failure of a landlord to comply with any remedial notice served upon them could result in a penalty fine of up to £5,000. For any new tenancy the alarms will need to be tested on the Tenancy Start Date. If you are renting via an Agent or a private Landlord independently instructing an Inventory Clerk you can ask that the clerk tests the alarm and notes this on the check in report. This new legislation brings private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed. Smoke alarms provide the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, once installed or an existing alarm is checked and deemed a ‘working’ smoke alarm the responsibility then transfers to the tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms whilst in occupation. ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) Regulated Estate Agents are working hard to ensure their Landlords are compliant with the new regulations but Landlords that chose to rent privately need to ensure they are compliant or face the government’s harsh consequences.