Lettings legislation changes constantly so landlords should make sure they stay on top of new developments to avoid risking hefty fines for non-compliance. The latest rental property legislation to be announced by the government concerns the provision of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties.
Landlords required by law to fit smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
From October 2015, landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their rental properties. The move aims to protect the public and prevent injuries and deaths caused by fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is part of a wider government initiative to protect public safety without increasing red tape and therefore costs. Currently there are up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year caused by fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The move brings private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require new-build homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms fitted.
A £5,000 penalty for non-compliance
However, from October, those failing to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face a £5,000 civil penalty.
The new measures:
Ensuring tenants’ safety
People are around four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm and the government believes that the new measures will increase safety in the private rented sector.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis commented on the new measures: “In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection. But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”
What should you do next?
You can find out more about tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities here.
If you use our property management service you needn’t worry about the new legislation. We will organise smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted in your property – if they aren’t already. And if you’re considering using a property management service for the first time, call our dedicated property management department on 020 7319 9740 for more information or visit the property management section on our website.
View all posts by Simran Prasad