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Does your rental property comply with new legislation?

iStock_000019185180_Small Fire alarmAs a landlord, you’ll know only too well how frequently new legislation is introduced affecting the management of your rental property. Failing to comply can cost you dearly so one of the main objectives of our regular blogs is to inform you of any new regulations.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Over the summer we posted a blog about new legislation (The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015) regarding the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties. And now the deadline has arrived – October 1st.

From this date, landlords are now required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their rental properties or face a £5,000 penalty for non-compliance. Landlords (or lettings agents working on their behalf) are required to fit a smoke alarm on each floor of their rental property and test them at the start of every tenancy. A carbon monoxide detector must also be fitted in high risk rooms where there is a solid fuel heating system – this includes woodburners and open fires.

Protecting tenants

Clearly, health and safety are the issues here. The aim is to protect tenants living in rental properties and help to prevent the 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year caused by fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. The new legislation brings private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that require new-build homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms fitted.

In brief:

  • Landlords must install smoke alarms on each floor of their property.
  • Alarms must be tested at the beginning of each tenancy.
  • Landlords must install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – for example, rooms where there is a solid fuel heating system.
  • Any landlord failing to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face a civil penalty of up to £5,000.

It is the responsibility of tenants to test the alarms regularly when they are living in the property.

You can find out more about tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities here.

What should landlords do next

There is support to help landlords comply with the new legislation, with local Fire and Rescue Authorities providing free alarms, through grant funding from the government. So far, it is estimated that around 445,000 smoke alarms and 40,000 carbon monoxide detectors have been distributed by Fire and Rescue Authorities throughout England.

Let our property management department take care of this for you.

Landlords using our property management service don’t have to do any of this themselves. We are already arranging for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted in their properties.

And if you’re considering using a property management service for the first time, contact our dedicated property management department on 020 7319 9740 or email manage@benhams.com.

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About the Author

A qualified lawyer (she studied Law with French Law) at UCL, Simran began her career working for a city firm specialising in commercial real estate, before joining Benham and Reeves in 2006. During this time, Simran has put systems in place to streamline administration, enabling the company to compete effectively with much larger organisations. As a result, the company’s property management department has grown substantially – in 2006 it managed 885 rental homes whereas today the department manages nearly 2000 properties for clients, including a growing number of overseas clients. Read more about Simran Prasad here - Read full profile

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