Landlord legal requirements set on 1st October 2015. We saw the introduction of several updates and changes in the regulations set by the government, which affect landlords and the letting industry as a whole. We feel these are positive changes that will ensure that agents are all operating to the same standards, looking after the safety of tenants as paramount, while protecting the landlord’s investment. These are legal requirements, and any landlords in breach of these regulations will be breaking the law facing a maximum fine of £5000, so it is crucial that landlords familiarise themselves with the changes.
The Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide (England) Regulations 2015 are mainly common sense precautions and many landlords already have the relevant alarms installed. In essence the regulation means that any house which is let must have a smoke alarm situated at each floor level but not counting half landings. For flats, smoke alarms should already be fitted in the hallways but it would be wise to check.
The carbon monoxide (CO) regulation is slightly different, it really applies only to those properties with solid fuel appliances such as open fires and log fires. We believe it makes sense to supply one to any property which uses gas and that tenants will soon expect to see alarms in their prospective homes. Alarms are inexpensive will give peace of mind but please remember that they should be tested at the start of each tenancy to ensure they are still working effectively.
There have also been some changes which will affect how section 21 can be issued and adhering to these will be vital when ending an existing tenancy agreement. The main three changes are:
- Section 21 cannot be served if the landlord/agent is in breach of a prescribed requirement i.e. in breach of the health and safety of the tenants
- Prior to the start of a tenancy the tenants will need to be given the guide ‘How to Rent – the checklist for renting in England’ by the landlords/agents and a document signed to prove this has been supplied
- The EPC and gas safety must be issued to the tenants and again proof of this must be kept by way of a signed document
Premier Lettings welcome these changes to ensure a consistent level of service and are here to give guidance and advice to both tenants and landlords.