Private landlords need to brush up on legislation
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says that its members are frequently receiving queries about new industry regulations, particularly those regarding carbon monoxide and smoke alarms and window blinds.
Since October 2015, it has been mandatory for a smoke alarm to be installed on every floor of a rental property where someone is living, partially living or is deemed as a habitable area, including bathrooms.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel-burning appliance, including wood burners and open fires.
Based on the most common queries regarding these regulations, the AIIC says that many landlords and agents’ are unsure of the required location and type of alarm as well as when they need to be tested.
What’s more, the association says its members have also reported receiving queries from landlords relating to safety requirements for blinds and curtains.
Blinds and curtains
In 2014, the British Standards Institution introduced a new set of safety requirements, aiming to address child safety risks posed by blinds and curtains.
The requirements mean that any blind which is installed with cords and chains has to have breakaway connectors and cord and chain safety retainers. The cords and chains must also be maintained at a minimum 1.5 metres from floor level.
If an accident involving a non-compliant blind or curtain track takes place in a rental property, the landlord could face prosecution from Trading Standards
Joe Hall, Fenn Wright’s head of business development, residential lettings says: “If you manage a property yourself, it is essential that you keep up to date with changing legislation. Firstly to ensure that your tenants remain safe, and secondly to make sure that you do not break the law and risk prosecution by the authorites. If you can’t do that you need to appoint a reputable, licensed letting agent that you can trust to manage the property for you, and advise you on your obligations.”