Changes in Legislation for Landlords

October has seen important changes in legislation regarding private residential lettings.

New rules, which came into force on 1 October 2015, concern smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and stipulate that:

  • Landlords must fit a smoke alarm on every storey
  • Landlords must also fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in every room with a solid fuel burning appliance
  • Alarms must be tested and working on the start of each tenancy

Penalties of up to £5,000 will be issued to those that flaunt the rule and only a limited period of grace will be given by the relevant local authorities.

It should also be noted that although the legislation refers only to solid fuel burning appliances in relation to CO alarms, it is also recommended that working alarms are installed in rooms with gas appliances.

Increased regulations generally within the residential lettings sector means more time needs to be spent ensuring guidelines are followed and tenancies are properly documented, in order to safeguard our clients’ position.

The significant tightening of the rules surrounding registering and taking tenancy deposits, along with the increased time and cost of ensuring all regulations are met, has led us to consult with clients on whether or not to take deposits at all – indeed many Landlords have taken a decision not to do so.

Likewise, recent changes to the regulations on Notices to Quit have tightened the requirements and professional advice needs to ensure that notices cannot be challenged on a number of new grounds.

Certainly, in light of these changes and with the likelihood of more to come, there is a lot to consider if residential property letting is to remain a viable and profitable venture.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Hayley Drew at Land Factor.

 

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Head Office: Land Factor Limited, Hexham Business Park, Burn Lane, Hexham, NE46 3RU | Tel: 01434 693693 | Fax: 01434 607445 | info@landfactor.co.uk
with offices in Blagdon and Penrith.

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