Did you know that the Right to Rent for tenants has now been changed from the 1st October?
From the 1st October 2022 landlords must carry out prescribed Right to Rent checks as follows;
- A manual Right to Rent check.
- A Right to Rent check using the IDVT services of identity service provider.
- A home office online Right to check.
Conducting any of these checks will provide landlords with a statutory excuse which is defence against a civil penalty.
Online Right to Rent service.
Where a Right to Rent check has been conducted using the home office Right to Rent online service, information provided in real time directly from the home office systems and there is no requirement for landlords to see or check individual documents.
Landlords cannot insist individuals to use the service or discriminate against those who choose to use accepted documents to prove their Right to Rent.
Landlords do not need to carry out any retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between March 2020 and 30th September 2022. This relates to a time the adjusted checks have been in place.
If a tenant does not have the right documents what do I do?
Landlords must contact the home office landlord checking service if the tenant cannot provide the right documents. Once you have submitted your request to the landlord checking service you will get an answer within 2 working days.
Why are Right to Rent checks so important?
They are important because without the right documentation you would not be able to get the tenant out.
New smoke and carbon monoxide rules from the 1st October 2022.
You must from now on do the following;
- Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the house where there is a room used as living accommodation.
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance this includes a gas boiler but excludes gas cookers.
- Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found they are faulty.
The requirements are enforced by local authority who can impose a fine of up to £5000 when a landlord fails to comply with the remedial notice.
However, you should also note that where carbon monoxide comes into place, landlords can potentially go to prison in the event a tenant dies.
These regulations also need to be considered regarding the relevant laws and fire and carbon monoxide safety in rented homes such as the Housing Act 2004, The fire safety Act 2021 and the building safety Act 2022.
What type of smoke alarm is required?
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms that should be installed. However, they recommend should be based on needs of their building and their tenant. The alarms must be compliant with British standards BS5839-6. Where battery powered alarms are selected, alarms with sealed for life batteries rather than replaceable batteries are the better option.
What type of carbon monoxide alarm is required?
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms that should be installed.
Landlords should make an informed decision and due to the type of the carbon monoxide alarms based on the needs of the building and tenants. Those alarms must be compliant with BS50291. Where battery powered alarms are selected, alarms with sealed for life batteries rather than alarms with replaceable batteries are the better option.
Where do smoke alarms need to be located?
This is more tricky than it seems. We believe that smoke alarms should be at the bottom of the stairs and at the top of the stairs.
If for instance you have a flat that you have to go up a staircase to get into and that in effect is a hallway then you should have one at the bottom and one at the top. In general smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space ie a hall or landing. At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every storey of the building used as living accommodation. Do not put a smoke alarm in a kitchen or bathroom. They should always be in individual bedrooms.
Where do carbon monoxide alarms need to be located?
A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in every room where there is living accommodation contained to a fixed combustion appliance including gas boilers. Landlords should follow the manufacturers instructions. However, carbon monoxide alarms should be positioned at head height, either on wall or in a shelf approximately 1-3 metres away from the potential source of carbon monoxide.
Who does the testing?
Testing of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is now to be required before the tenants move in and should be done by the landlord or letting agent. Landlords need to show that they are in working order.
Who is responsible for dealing with the repairs?
It is now landlords full responsibility to deal with all repairs for any of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As soon as the tenant reports that they are faulty works should continue immediately.
What are the new fire safety regulations?
These regulations come into force on the 23rd January 2023.
They are mainly for high rise buildings or in multi occupied residential buildings of seven stories or more.
However, they also relate to HMO’s. There are various conditions of what must be carried out to include fire doors, floor plans and monthly checks. These are still yet to be fully defined by the Government and we are waiting for further information.