There are many different hoops that a landlord has to jump through before renting their property. Most of the requirements are purely safety precautions. New regulations that come into place today are precisely this.
Government statistics suggest that these new regulations will help to prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. Considering that both a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm will set you back (roughly) £50 together, this seems a very small figure to prevent these deaths and injuries. When this new legislation was proposed under the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, it was part of a series of government moves to ensure sufficient measures are in place to protect public safety, while at the same time limiting regulations which would push up rents, restricting numbers of rental properties and choice for tenants.
As with all legislation, there are penalties in place for those who fail to comply and install these alarms. In this situation, the fine will be up to £5,000.
Current legislation regarding building regulations, requires that new builds have smoke detectors hard-wired into the build. The aim of this new legislation for private landlords is to bring privately rented properties into line with existing building regulations.
It is the responsibility of the tenant to regularly test the alarms and replace the batteries when required. It is also expected that letting agents should also check the alarms during their regular visits. If you are renting a property and feel unable to carry out these checks or replace the batteries, don’t be afraid to ask for help.