Residential landlords get some good news and bad news this month. The good news is that the deadline for registering multi-let properties that have a common heating and cooling system with the National Measurement Office has been extended from 30 April, 2015 to a more manageable 31 December, 2015. As discussed in eZine 25 March 2015 (More Heat Than Light) the regulations require landlords of multi-let properties to install separate meters for each occupier so that individual tenants pay for the amount of energy that they actually use, rather than a fixed share of a communal bill.
The bad news is that from 1 October 2015, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations come into force. Residential landlords must install smoke alarms on each floor of a property that is used as living accommodation. There is a slight kink in the wording of the regulations that might catch the unwary; the regulations require that the landlord
“ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.”
Checking alarms a day or week before the new tenants move in would be a breach of the strict terms of the regulations, so landlords should beware of agents checking properties on their behalf in advance of a new tenancy beginning. If the alarms are not checked on the day the tenancy begins, the landlord will be the one facing a fine of up to £5,000.
As the title of the regulations suggests, carbon monoxide alarms are also to become a must have feature in properties which have a solid fuel burning appliance. The Aga and wood burning stove that look so attractive in the agent’s particulars now come with a requirement that the landlord fit, and check, carbon monoxide alarms in any room containing such a device.