This week the Government made two key announcements that will affect landlords in England.
The new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations have been approved and come into affect on 1 October 2015.
On Monday (14/09/15) Parliament approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This means that from 1 October all landlords in England will be required to:
1) Have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property.
2) Have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove).
3) Make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
This last point is particularly important for agents who offer a full management or tenant check-in service on behalf of landlord clients, as agents may be required to check the alarms on the landlords behalf.
UKALA recommends that agents make it clear in their terms and conditions who is responsible for checking the alarms. If the agent is responsible, consider what evidence is appropriate to be able to prove that a check was carried out, if necessary. For example, if the tenant is present during check-in, a record of the check could be included in the inventory or check-in, to be signed by the tenant.
All new requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.