All but a select few private sector leases, tenancies and licences of residential property are now legally required to be properly fitted with at least one smoke alarm on every storey of the property being used as living accommodation, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance.
The new regulations which came into effect from 1 October 2015 will be enforced by the local authority for the area the property is located in by way of penalty charges of up to £5000.00 for uncompliant landlords.
Landlords will need to prove that all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy and for any tenancies already in existence on the above date to avoid being penalised.
If a landlord believes that he is being unfairly penalised it is possible, in certain limited circumstances, to have the local authority's decision reviewed and if necessary appealed.
Our advice to landlords is to ensure that they comply with the new regulations as soon as possible if they have yet to do so, and for any new tenancies, to ensure that they are compliant before letting out the property. We also recommend adding a term dealing with this point into tenancy agreements to be signed by the tenant which can be used to provide proof of compliance.
For advice on this or any other landlord and tenant issue, contact the General Litigation Team at Garratts on 0161 665 3502 today.