Are you keeping your tenants safe and your property protected? Are you sure that it has fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed? Here’s a reminder of your responsibilities to your tenants as their landlord.

What are your responsibilities?

Regulations for private sector landlords were introduced in October 2015 detailing a legal responsibility to protect tenants from the risks of fire and CO poisoning. The expectation of landlords is very clear, and there is no grace period to let you meet legal requirements. You need to ensure that your rental property has fitted:

• At least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of the property which is used as living accommodation;
• A carbon monoxide alarm installed in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is burned. A solid fuel-burning appliance could be a coal fire or wood-burning stove.

In addition to the alarms being fitted, you should also:

• Follow the legal requirement to check that alarms are in working order on the first day of each new tenancy. After this, the tenants are responsible for regularly testing alarms. Guidance suggests that this should be done monthly.
• Consider where you fit the alarms. Smoke alarms should be on a ceiling in spaces where the air circulates. CO alarms should be at head height and only a few meters from the fuel-burning appliance. However, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.
• Ensure alarms are audible throughout the property.
• Consider fitting a CO monitor near gas appliances as these can also emit carbon monoxide (although this is not required by law).
• Consider how you will prove you have checked the alarms at the required times.

Landlords who fail to comply with the regulations can expect a fine of up to £5000.

Regular property inventories can ensure compliance

As highlighted in our smoke and CO verification information, if your property is outside England, or you have a different type of rental property, there are different requirements you need to be aware of.

To ensure your ongoing compliance with all regulations affecting a landlord can be difficult and time-consuming, but something that good landlords and property agents are keen to do. At No Letting Go, we support our landlords and property agents with smoke and CO alarm verification and compliance with other legislation through inventory checks.

Pre-tenancy checks, regular inventory check-ins and end-of-tenancy inventories ensure that throughout a tenancy and at the start of every new one, you are providing tenants with a safe property that is in good order. We can schedule regular inventories that tenants will sign off to provide an audit trail for your compliance with regulations should this become necessary. We will also provide feedback and guidance where a property may be falling short of legal requirements.

No Letting Go

If you would like to discuss how the local inventory specialists at No Letting Go could become your property management partner, streamline your costs, reduce workload and keep accurate property inventories, then contact us today.

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