1. Regulations for the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for landlords

The government has introduced the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations 2015 to make landlords in the private rented sector in England responsible for ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately installed and are in proper working order at the start of the tenancy.

Please NOTE these regulations only affect England and came into effect on 1st October 2015.

This law will apply to landlords renting residential accommodation to one or more tenants occupying all or part of the property as their main home.

The law will not apply to social landlords.

What you need to do as landlord……..

From the 1st October 2015 landlords will have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor. You will also need to provide a carbon monoxide in every room where solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and this includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG.

Landlords or the agent will need to ensure that the alarms are in proper working order at the start of each tenancy by pressing the test button until you hear the alarm sounds.

The testing must be carried out on the start of the tenancy and the date which is stipulated within the tenancy agreement. Even if the tenant(s) decide to move after this date you must still have the alarms tested on the actual tenancy start date and no later.

Landlord………. You are also responsible for demonstrating that the alarms were working in the proper way at the start of the tenancy by getting the tenant(s) to sign a receipt and to also ensure it's in the inventory which is also signed by the tenant(s)

During the tenancy it is the responsibility of the tenants to ensure the alarms work and it is there responsibility to change the batteries during the tenancy. However should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for replacing them.

Please note local authorities will carry out any enforcement and have the right to charge a fixed fine of up to £5,000.00 for not complying with this regulation.

2. Legionella Risk Assessment

What is legionella?

Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing legionella. All man made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where legionella can grow.

Due to the changes in the approved code of practice, which confirms changes of law within the local area. It is required that all rented accommodation must have a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out.

You can view further details on www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires

The assessment must be carried out by a competent person and records must be kept for six years and a review must be conducted at least every two years.

Although it is not currently a legal requirement to keep evidence of the assessment, if your tenant(s) were to contract the disease from the water system in their home you would then become liable to prosecution under the health and safety at work act 1974. You must be able to prove to a court that you have conducted and fulfilled your legal duty.