Carbon monoxide & smoke detectors compulsory for new lets from October 2015

The law is changing for landlords: carbon monoxide and smoke detectors compulsory for new lets from October 2015

Landlords starting new tenancies will be legally obliged to install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors as standard from 1 October 2015. The new law is being introduced to keep tenants safer in properties they rent. It is hoped the move will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries every year.

Paul Broomham, the Lettings Director here at Jones Robinson, says that September is an excellent month for landlords with new tenancies to make the installations where necessary: “The new law will come into effect in October and according to research from British Gas 59 per cent of landlords are not aware of the new legislation.  All landlords who have tenancies due to start in or after October must install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors now so they will be legally compliant as soon as the law comes into force.”

Existing tenancies – those that started before October 2015 – will not be affected by the change in legislation as the new law only applies to tenancies that commence after October 2015. Our advice, however, is for all landlords to ensure that the properties they rent out are fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have an existing tenancy, we suggest fitting the relevant detectors at the same time as the next gas/electric safety inspection or boiler service.

Paul continues: “There is still some confusion over whether these regulations will kick in from the start of October but Landlords do have a duty of care when it comes to tenant safety and even though the new law only applies to tenancies commencing from October 2015, we think every rented property should be fitted with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. We’re coming into the colder months now when tenants will be firing up the boiler more often and relying heavily on gas appliances. Preventing an emergency situation should always be the first line of defence.”

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are widely available, relatively cheap to buy and take hardly any time to install. Crucially, they offer tenants a valuable warning system should there be a fire or a leak, so it’s a small price to pay to protect lives. The fire and rescue authorities in England are even offering free alarms and support for private landlords in order to make sure the new law is properly enforced, so there is no excuse.

Paul concludes by adding: “It is worth remembering that the testing of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors lies with the tenant, so we are encouraging our clients – both tenants and landlords – to ensure this point is understood and carried out.”

Jones Robinson would be happy to speak with new and existing landlords about legal obligations surrounding a buy-to-let. Please contact us today for the latest advice.

Market News | 11/09/15 10:34AM

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