25 September 2015 by

Raise the Alarm!

Whether you own a thriving property portfolio or are looking to make your first investment purchase, it is imperative that you are up-to-date and compliant with the law relating to rental properties.

Despite the House of Lords rejecting draft legislation earlier this month and there being only a few days before the new Regulations come into force, Parliament has now approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (England) Regulations 2015. Landlords now face a race against time to familiarise themselves with the new Regulations or potentially risk fines for non-compliance.

With effect from the 1 October 2015, the Regulations impose compulsory obligations on landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties with the intention of increasing the safety of tenants in the private rented sector. The Regulations (which do not provide a period of grace for compliance) will apply to existing tenancies, as well as new tenancies granted from 1 October 2015.

A summary of the main aspects of the Regulations appear below. More detailed guidance recently published by the Government can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/458550/Smoke_and_carbon_monoxide_alarms_-_landlords.pdf.

What are the landlord’s obligations?

  • To install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of any property in which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  • To install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room used wholly or partly as living accommodation that contains a solid fuel burning appliance (i.e. wood, coal or biomass).
  • To ensure that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Are there any exemptions?

The Regulations apply to any tenancy, lease or licence of residential premises in England giving somebody rights to occupy all or part of the property as their main or only residence in return for payment of rent. However the following categories are exempt:-

  • A tenancy that grants a long lease or rights of occupation for a term of 7 years or more.
  • Shared accommodation with the landlord or a member of the landlord’s family.
  • Hostels, care homes, hospices and student halls of accommodation.

Who will be responsible for enforcement of the Regulations?

  • The local authority will be responsible for enforcement of the Regulations and will have powers to impose fines of up to £5,000 where a landlord has failed to comply with a remedial notice.

If you require advice in relation to a residential property investment or any other residential conveyancing transaction, please contact Mario Panayiotou on 020 7288 4785 or mariopanayiotou@boltburdon.co.uk

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