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ATTENTION LANDLORDS!! New smoke alarm regulations and carbon monoxide detector regulations for rented properties in England

 
  13 Aug 2015

As of 1 October 2015, all rented properties in England will be required to install and maintain working smoke alarms in their rented properties. For landlords with solid burning fuel appliances, there will be further requirements to install a working carbon monoxide detectors.

Context
On 11 March 2015 the Housing Minister announced that landlords would be required to install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. This is part of the Government’s plans to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector.

The Changes
The Government has put forward draft Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015) making landlords in the private rented sector in England responsible for ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately installed and are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

NOTE: The Regulations are expected to come into force on 1 October 2015.

What do you need to do:
From the 1st October 2015 landlords will 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. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG. Landlords will have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of every tenancy. For example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds. Landlords are also required to demonstrate that the alarms were working at the start of the tenancy, so it is advisable to get the tenant to sign a receipt confirming the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working or ensure it’s in the inventory at check-in which is signed by the tenant.

During the tenancy it is a tenant’s responsibility to ensure the alarms work and it is their responsibility to change the batteries during the tenancy. However, should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for replacing them.

NOTE: Under the proposals a bathroom or lavatory is classed as a room used for living accommodation and a room covers hall or landing. Stairways are also included in the regulations. For instance, for maisonettes or flats above shops where the flat is on the first floor but you enter via stairs on the ground floor a smoke alarm will be required in the stairwell.

A new tenancy will include agreements entered into on or after 1 October 2015. It does not include a periodic statutory tenancy which starts following the end of a shorthold tenancy. In addition, landlords do not need to check the alarms when a tenancy is renewed under the same conditions i.e. for the same premises by the same landlord to the same tenant.

The Impact :
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new rules. If the local authority thinks that a landlord has not implemented the new rules correctly they will issue a notice advising the landlord what they need to do to resolve the problem. The local authority must give the notice within 21 days from when they believe that the landlord has breached the rules. The landlord has 28 days to respond and/or make good what is needed to comply.

Having reviewed a first draft of the new Section 21 notice which will be in use for all tenancies starting after October 2015, it is clearly stated that the Section 21 notice to end the tenancy by the landlord will not be valid and as such it may prove difficult to gain a non-fault possession of your property.

NOTE: Landlords cannot be held responsible if they can show that they have taken reasonable steps to comply with the rules but cannot enforce the changes, such as if a tenant refuses to allow for the work to be done.

If you are landlord with Jezzards, we will be contacting all of our landlords at the end of their current tenancies and advise the steps that they will need to take in order to ensure their properties comply. If you are not currently a landlord with Jezzards but would like some independent advice regarding the new regulations, please contact our Property Management team, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 03330 433 33 or email property.management@jezzards.co.uk


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Jezzards Estate Agents



 

 

Jezzards properties Hampton

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