Landlords across the UK have slammed the Government for what they perceive as unnecessary delays in the introduction of legislation which will make it compulsory to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented accommodation.
Early in 2015, draft regulations were drawn up making it a requirement for private sector landlords to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of their property from 1st October. This is to give local authorities greater power to fine landlords who fail to adhere to the new rules up to £5,000.
Yesterday, the House of Lords rejected the draft legislation at its last stage, stating that with the proposed introduction less than three weeks away, the Government has not done enough to inform landlords of the changes. In addition, the legislation was found to be poorly worded.
The British Property Federation, which represents landlords and is a supporter of the legislation, has warned that when the changes are finally approved, landlords will be left with just days to comply, leaving them more susceptible to being fined.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said, ‘we have been fully supportive of the campaign to make smoke alarms compulsory in private rented properties and are therefore extremely disappointed to see this unnecessary delay in proceedings.’
Delay in smoke alarm legislation slammed
‘The original timeframe for the legislation was tight, but allowing time for a further debate in the Lords is going to make this even worse. Coupled with the fact that there has been no publicity on the changes, we are worried that many landlords are going to be caught out by the fine as a result of government’s disorganisation and lack of clarity,’ Fletcher continued.
Concluding, Fletcher said, ‘it is particularly frustrating that one of the reasons that this revocation has happened is because the introduction is worded poorly, as there has been no consultation on this.’