Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Landlords will soon be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all their tenanted properties, this is expected to be in place from October 2015. The smoke alarms will need to be installed on every floor of the property and tested at the start of a tenancy. The carbon monoxide alarms will be required in high risk rooms, for example where a solid fuel heating system is installed. During the tenancy period it will be the responsibility of the tenant to maintain and test the alarms and to report any faults. 

The fire service are on hand to support private landlords on meeting the requirements and new responsibilities. Grant funding from the government will enable landlords to claim free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, the allocation of funding will be announced in due course. 

Landlords who fail to comply are at risk of facing sanctions and be landed with a bill of up to £5,000 civil penalty. 

The new compliance will bring property up to standard on current building regulations, new builds are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed. 

It is a simple safety procedure that will save lives and a simple understanding for both landlord and tenant as to where their obligations lie on installing, testing and maintaining.

Make sure your property is up to standard!

Beth Alexandra Property Specialists 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) were originally introduced as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) required to market your property, since the HIP was suspended in May 2010 the EPC was to remain a mandatory requirement. When putting your property up for sale or rent you must have an up to date Energy Performance Certificate and it is required for any property with a tenancy commencing on or after 1st October 2008.

Visually the EPC is the colour coded chart you see on property details listed by estate agents, it is usual practice for your estate agent to make the arrangements for the EPC to be carried out with your instruction. The chart is split into 'Energy Performance Rating' and 'Environmental (CO2) Impact Rating' both rated A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Also included in the certificate document is information on the property's energy use and typical cost along with recommendations on how reduce energy use and save money. It is valid for 10 years unless any changes are made that can effect the rating i.e insulation, double glazing or a new boiler.

Having this information readily available is all well and good, providing that extra bit of information for potential buyers and tenants on the energy efficiency of a property. But I have often wondered why there has never been a requirement in place for what rating the property should be at or above, especially for rental property. Then what was released a couple of weeks ago....

As of 1st April 2018 all rental property must have a minimum rating of at least an E. This new stipulation means that any property rented out with a rating of F or G is illegal. This could be a costly rule to adherer to for most landlords so my advice is to put a plan in place now to budget for any work that needs carrying out to bump up the EPC rating to an E or above. Don't leave it too late or it will cost you more in the long run!

If you need an Energy Performance Certificate please contact us Beth Alexandra Property Specialists 01344 771278 or email property@bethalexandra.com