Under the Building Regulations 1991 the Law requires that all newly built properties from June 1992 and Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) must have mains fitted smoke alarms with battery back-up. If battery operated smoke alarms are fitted to the property the Landlord must ensure that the alarms are in working order at the start of a tenancy.
Since October 2015 under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, all premises occupied by a tenancy must be equipped with a smoke alarm fitted on each storey of the property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation which can include stairways. The Landlord is obliged to ensure the alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins and remains in proper working order.
Carbon monoxide alarms
It is a legal requirement for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. However, we advise all Landlords to consider the installation of alarms to protect the occupier and help prevent any legal action being taken against a Landlord. If we are managing the property we will arrange for an alarm to be fitted at your expense.
Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, when the premises are occupied under a tenancy they must be equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. The Landlord must ensure that the alarm is in proper working order on the day a new tenancy begins and remains in proper working order.
Oil, LPG, sold fuel appliances and wood burning stoves
Oil, LPG, solid fuel appliances and wood burning stoves should be serviced and safety checked annually. Wood burning stoves installed from 2011 must have an installation certificate and a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. A copy of the installation certificate must be given to us.
Energy performance of buildings (certificates and inspections) (England and Wales) regulations 2007
Since 1st October 2008 a prospective tenant of a residential property has to be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) free of charge at the commencement of marketing. EPCs must be provided by accredited energy inspectors and last for ten years. The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 mean that, from April 2018, private non-domestic (and domestic) Landlords must ensure that properties they rent in England and Wales reach at least an EPC rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants.
Legionella risk assessment
Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires’ Disease. Health and safety legislation requires that Landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Landlords have a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants is properly assessed and control measures introduced. This applies to houses or flats with domestic type water systems. Provided the risk assessment shows that the risks are insignificant and the control measures are being properly managed no further action would be necessary. It is important, however, to keep the assessment under review periodically in case anything changes to the system.
Statutory repairing responsibilities
Sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 state that a Landlord must:
- Keep the structure (including the drains, gutters and downpipes) and the exterior of the Property in good order and repair).
b. Keep the appliances for supply of gas, electricity and water in good repair.
c. Keep the appliances for supply of space heating and water heating in good repair. Keep the sanitary appliances in good repair.
The Landlord is obliged under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement to ensure that necessary repairs are carried out.