I wanted to take the opportunity to make you aware of some upcoming changes that will affect all residential landlords and their properties. This change in the law will apply from the 1st October 2022.
There are two main changes:
1) Landlords will be responsible for repairing alarms – Currently, the rules in England are that fire alarms are tested at the start of the tenancy by the landlord (or their agent) . However, throughout the tenancy, it is by default the responsibility of the tenant to check and repair any smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. However, the change will mean that landlords will be responsible for repairing smoke or CO alarms, during the tenancy, once they are told they are faulty or need replacing, as soon as practically possible.
2) CO alarms – The criteria for the location of CO alarms are also changing. Since 2015, landlords have been required to put a CO alarm in any room where solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass. This includes open fires, but not (strangely) gas or oil. However, the new regulations require mandatory CO alarms in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance in private rented homes, and when installing any heating appliance – excluding gas cookers. For example, in the room where a boiler is located. While this isn’t mandatory now, many landlords already have CO alarms in rooms of fixed combustion appliances for safety reasons. However, the new regulations will create a legal obligation. This will apply to properties fueled by oil, LPG etc. It would not apply to a property with purely electric heating though as an example (assuming it has no open fire/log burner etc).
A few of the practical points we need to consider for every property:
– all smoke alarms must be attached to ceilings
– this should be in a hallway or landing as opposed to a particular room
– as is already the case, a smoke alarm is required on every storey of the property (including basements etc)
– co alarms must be installed at head height, 1-3m away from the appliance and either fixed to a wall or on a shelf
– expired alarms must be changed
You can read the full legislation here – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2022/9780348234978
For all the properties I manage I will be carrying out an audit on every property on your behalf. I have a great handyman who can install new ones as required and if needed I will ensure new smoke alarms/co alarms are installed. I will also make sure any are moved that are not in the correct location according to the new legislation.
If you self manage, then I would urge you to carry out a check on all your properties and ensure you are compliant by the 1st October.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – email@example.com
Angela Westgarth, Director of The Personal Property Shop – letting agents Bishop’s Stortford
Letting agents Braintree