The 1st October 2015 marks the introduction of a number of regulatory changes affecting all private sector rental properties in England. The legislation in question, and recently passed by Parliament, is the ‘Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015’. Under these new regulations landlords will have responsibility for ensuring:
1. That there is at least one smoke alarm fitted on every floor of their property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
2. That a carbon monoxide alarm is situated in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as coal, wood or biomass (including open fires). This does not include oil, gas or LPG, although we advise that it is certainly best practice for a landlord to have a carbon monoxide detector in place where there are gas appliances or boilers.
3. That the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy commencing on or after 1 October 2015.
The regulatory changes will affect both existing and new tenancies and will be enforced by local authorities, with penal measures such as fines of up to £5,000 in the event that a landlord fails to comply. 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.
Once landlords have taken reasonable steps to comply with the regulations they have undertaken their duty, even if unsuccessful. For example, landlords cannot be held responsible if they have attempted to meet the rules but an incumbent tenant has stopped the necessary work from commencing.
Astons London will be assisting as much as possible in guiding landlords over the integration of these new regulations into industry practice and procedure. Our contracted inventory clerks will be recording and testing the smoke detectors in all properties as standard practice, and we will provide advice or assistance with the installation of necessary alarms if requested
We are happy to discuss any landlord questions or considerations, please direct email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 7262 2900.
For more information, please see the Government’s FAQs on the Regulations: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/458550/Smoke_and_carbon_monoxide_alarms_-_landlords.pdf <>
Lettings Compliance Team