Confusion over new landlord regulations at last moment
New laws protecting renters from fires and gas leaks have been thrown into chaos and confusion just days before they were supposed to come into force.
Regulations requiring landlords to install a smoke alarm on every floor of their properties have been held up at the 11th hour after the legislation behind them was thrown out by the House of Lords.
Lords ruled that the government had done too little to inform landlords of their new responsibilities and that the legislation itself was poorly worded.
The delay could leave landlords and letting agents with just days to comply with the new laws, risking fines of £5000.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced in March that UK landlords would be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties from October 1.
The changes require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, test them at the start of every tenancy, and to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms where solid fuel heating systems are installed.
A recent survey by AXA Insurance claimed that 71% of landlords have not yet organised a carbon monoxide alarm in their rental property, with 54% are yet to install a fire alarm.
It isn’t even clear at this stage if the October 1st date for the introduction of the rules is still valid. Urgent clarity on this matter is needed and soon.