Carbon Monoxide - CO Detectors

On 1st October 2015 it became Law that Landlords (including owners of student lets & holiday lets) are required to ensure fully operational smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed in their rental properties in England.
 

The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms to be installed however the Gov. Q&A booklet states: ‘Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarms for their properties and for their tenant's safety’.

 

Although landlords are already obliged to have a yearly check carried out on any gas appliances, this alone cannot guarantee protection from carbon monoxide. The installation of a CO detector is quick, easy and cheap, and ensures your tenants are protected from what is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’.
 

On 1st October 2015 it became law that any high-risk room, i.e. those containing a solid fuel-burning appliance, must have a CO detector installed. Although the legislation refers only to solid fuel-burning appliances in relation to CO alarms, the Gov. Q&A booklet states in relation to gas appliances that:

we would expect and encourage reputable landlords to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with gas appliances.’ 

 

Smoke Detectors

Building regulations already require that properties constructed after June 1992 have a mains powered, interconnected smoke alarm system installed to BS5839-6 2013 Grade D. Therefore, many landlords may find their smoke alarm provision already meets the new requirements.
 

There has previously been no legislation requiring landlords of properties let to single-family units and built prior to 1992 to have smoke alarms. However, these properties will now be subject to the new legislation, meaning smoke alarms will need to be installed on every storey by 1st October 2015.
 

Important Note:
There is NO grace period, so failing to comply with the legislation from 1st October 2015 will leave you open to a penalty of up to £5000.

Legislation document (The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015)
 


 

Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector (England) 2020

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has introduced legislation for landlords in England to make it a mandatory requirement to have electrical safety checks carried out in their properties. These

electrical safety checks are to be carried out at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person.

This new legislation comes into force on 1st June 2020 for Landlords in England for electrical safety checks

to be completed on their properties following the timeline below-

  1. all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020; and

  2. all existing specified tenancies from 1st July 2021

 

Electrical safety checks?

This is a series of inspections and tests of the electrical installation, which does not include electrical appliances. It is recommended that appliances are also checked for safety, however it is not a requirement of the legislation.


What documents should I receive?             

This will depend on the work carried out, for some existing installations there may be a valid (less than 5 years old)

Electrical Installation Certificate covering the whole property, this would have been issued when the installation was first installed or rewired. If there is no valid Electrical Installation Certificate then a report is required, this is generally known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This report will provide you with an overview of the condition of the electrical installation and, where relevant, will list any remedial works that may be required.
 

What do the codes on an EICR certificate mean?

If the report has an Unsatisfactory outcome the EICR will list the issues and a code will be attributed to the severity of the issue, these codes are –

Code C1 - Danger Present / Risk of injury / immediate remedial action required

Code C2 - ‘Potentially dangerous’ / immediate remedial action required

Code C3 - ‘Improvement recommended’

Code F1 - ‘Further investigation required’

If the EICR has any Code C1, C2 or FI outcomes they must be resolved within 28 days,

or within the timescale outlined on the report if less than 28 days.
 

What do I have to do with the electrical safety check documents?

You or your agent is required to supply a copy of this electrical safety check / report to the existing resident or tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test, to a new tenant before they occupy the premises, and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report. The landlord must also supply the local housing authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy and retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.

Where the report shows that remedial work is necessary, you must complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report. Then you or your agent must supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works to the tenant and the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the works.
 

Does this apply to HMO's?

Yes
 

What are the penalties if I do not comply with the legislation?

If the local housing authority finds that landlords are in breach of their duties in relation to electrical installations, they must serve a notice, which will set out the remedial works required to comply with these duties and may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

                                         
                         
Landlords Please Be Aware of the Proposed Fire Safety Bill
                                        Published 19 March 2020 From: Home Office and The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP

 

The proposed Fire Safety Bill builds on action already taken to ensure that people feel safe in their homes, and a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire never happens again.
 

The bill will amend the Fire Safety Order 2005 to clarify that the responsible person or duty-holder for
multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for:

 

  • the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies, and windows

  • entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts
     

This clarification will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they are not compliant.
 

Minister for Security James Brokenshire said:

We remain committed to implementing the recommendations made following phase one of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and the government has already made major reforms to building safety. Today’s bill will help bring about meaningful change to improving building safety.
 

Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Roy Wilsher said:

I am pleased to see the announcement of the new Fire Safety Bill. We have been calling for additional powers since 2017 and these changes should contribute to the public feeling safer in their homes.

We look forward to seeing additional supportive measures to assist fire and rescue services, identify different types of cladding and take appropriate measures.

The bill will provide a foundation for secondary legislation to take forward recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry phase one report, which stated that building owners and managers of high-rise

and multi-occupied residential buildings should be responsible for a number of areas including:
 

  • regular inspections of lifts and the reporting of results to the local fire and rescue services

  • ensuring evacuation plans are reviewed and regularly updated and personal evacuation plans are in place for residents whose ability to evacuate may be compromised

  • ensuring fire safety instructions are provided to residents in a form that they can reasonably be expected to understand

  • ensuring individual flat entrance doors, where the external walls of the building have unsafe cladding, comply with current standards
     

The bill will also give the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government the powers to amend the list of qualifying premises that fall within the scope of the Fire Safety Order by way of secondary legislation, enabling the government to respond quickly to developments in the design and construction of buildings.
 

Alongside today’s bill, a number of actions are being taken across government to improve building and fire safety including:
 

  • the announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 20 January 2020 of a new Building Safety Regulator

  • introduction of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Building Safety Bill, which will provide clearer accountability and stronger duties on those responsible for high rise buildings

  • £1 billion of grant funding to tackle unsafe cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres in both the private and social sectors

  • a new Building Safety Bill to bring about further changes to building safety

  • the relaunch of the government’s Fire Kills campaign
     

To accompany the introduction of the bill, the Home Office is also announcing today the publication of the summary of responses received to the Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO) call for evidence.

The call for evidence invited views on the application of the FSO and sought to identify any changes that might be needed and how they could be best achieved.

While respondents identified some areas where the FSO could be amended to provide greater clarity, most respondents agreed that the scope and objectives of the FSO remain appropriate for all regulated premises, that it should retain its focus on protecting lives over property, and that it should continue to provide a framework for a risk-based and proportionate approach to regulating fire safety. A consultation will be held later in the year on proposals and next steps.

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