From today (1st October 2015), landlords and letting agents of residential properties must have smoke alarms fitted on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. So what do you need to do to comply with the new legislation?
The new regulations cover all private rented properties, not just new tenancies which are let on assured shorthold tenancies so it’s imperative that you act now.
Ensure that all of your properties comply with the new legislation. If you are unsure whether one of your properties has alarms fitted or whether or not they are in fully working order then it’s worth paying a visit just to double check. Just remember to give your tenants notice if you plan to visit their home.
During the visit, it’s a good idea to complete a thorough check of each alarm:
-Test: Test each alarm to ensure that it is still in good working order.
-Replace or install: Replace batteries where necessary or install new alarms if the original is faulty.
-Register and Record: Make a record of all existing alarms in the property including where they are located, when they were tested, what action was taken and on what date the inspection took place. This can then be kept for your records should you need to refer to it in the future.
If it’s difficult to find the time to visit your properties then No Letting Go have launched a nationwide inspection and installation service across its 50 regional offices to help you comply. They will carry out all of the above for you and all of the information will be recorded in a report on their web based system which is accessible 24/7 and provides a full audit trail to ensure agents and landlords meet the legislative requirements.
Throughout a tenancy
It’s best practice to regularly test the alarms and make sure that they are in full working order. Any faulty batteries or alarms should be replaced immediately. Trading standards expect that the new regulations will prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries per year.
At the start of a new tenancy
The new regulations stipulate that the alarms must be checked and tested at the start of a new tenancy. This can either be done by the landlord, someone acting on the landlord’s behalf or by the tenant. The test should be recorded in the inventory at the start of the tenancy so that it available to refer back to if necessary.