New regulations were passed on the 14th September 2015 as part of the Governments plans to ‘create a bigger, better and safer private rent sector’. From 1st October 2015, landlords will have to ensure that a smoke alarm if fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is burnt, such as wood which includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG.
Landlords will then have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy for example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds, or even better, using an aerosol smoke spray. This is something we can check when the inventory check in is carried out, and ask the tenants to sign to agree the alarms are in good working order.
During the tenancy, it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure the alarms work and it remains their responsibility to change the batteries as an when it is required. However, should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for replacing them.
While there was a lot of controversy regarding the short notice periods landlords and agents have had, it only applied to new tenancies which include agreements entered into on or after 1st October 2015. It does not include a periodic statutory tenancy which starts following the end of a shorthold tenancy. In addition, landlords do not need to check alarms when a tenancy is renewed under the same conditions i.e for the same premises by the same tenant.
What we do to ensure you’re covered:
On the initial instruction, we’ll check to see if the property meets the criteria for this legislation. If not, we can make arrangements to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fitted where necessary.
As part of our tenancy documentation, we include a fully conditioned inventory which would include the detectors. We’ll test all sensors and include these results in the document for the tenant to sign and agree too.
Over the next year, as a matter of precaution, any fully managed property will have an assessment made to see if sensors are required. If sensors need to be included, will will arrange to have them fitted along side our gas safety inspections to reduce any call out charge.