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6 November 2015

Sound the alarm!

Following on from a previous article detailing Landlord's responsibilities in connection with health and safety, with effect from 1st October 2015, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015 are in force.

The regulations look to govern the installation of alarms in privately rented properties and as a consequence landlords are required to comply with the following;

  • Install a smoke alarm on every storey of the property
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in any room that houses a solid fuel combustion appliance.
  • Ensure that the installations are in working order at the start of every new tenancy.

Enforcement powers in relation to a breach of the regulations are held by the Local Authority and in circumstances where a landlord has/is believe to have, failed to comply with the regulations the following procedure will begin;

  • Local Authority will issue a remedial notice to the landlord.
  • The landlord then has a period of 28 days to comply with the notice.
  • If post this time the breach has not been rectified, the authority can take remedial action themselves and impose a civil penalty upon the landlord or up to £5,000

The landlord can seek to challenge any decision made by the authority;

  • By seeking a review (this would be done in the first instance)
  • If not satisfied with the outcome of the review a landlord has a right to issue an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal

Landlords must be alive to the fact that the regulations also apply to existing tenancies and not just those created after 1st October 2015.

The regulations highlight an acknowledgement that the private rental market is experiencing unprecedented growth and so the requirement for regulatory safeguards becomes evermore important.

Those within the sector including; landlords, agents and local authority enforcement teams are therefore required to ensure that they are fully appraised of their responsibilities in respect of the properties and towards the tenants who occupy them.