17 September 2015, Landlords in England must ensure they take positive action for safety despite recent confusion over new legislation.
Lisa Simon, head of lettings at national agency Carter Jonas, says it’s good news that legislation making smoke alarms compulsory in all lettings properties in England, and CO alarms in many, from October 1 has now been agreed after a week of confusion in Parliament.
“The legislation is much needed and some years behind where good practice should already have taken the lettings industry,” says Mrs Simon.
“The House of Lords decided there had not been enough consultation about implementing the new rule so rejected the draft legislation, meaning the October 1 deadline was scrapped with only three weeks to go. Then, exactly two weeks from the deadline, the new law passed successfully through Parliament after a week when many within the industry believed there was less pressure to comply.
“Fitting smoke and, where required, CO alarms is an absolute must and all landlords must act to make sure they have alarms fitted by October 1. Landlords risk fines up to £5,000 if they have failed to fit alarms.
“The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require all landlords in England, or agents acting on their behalf, to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy.
“Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires.
“Those who fail to meet the regulations face fines of up to £5,000.”