In this issue we update you with regulatory changes relevent to landlords.
Important regulatory changes in Leicester
Sadly, the onslaught on landlords seems to be continuing with two new local regulatory schemes being approved in Leicester.
Firstly, further to our landlord newsletter in December 2021 and email in March 2022, the Council held a consultation on the new Selective Licensing scheme that it was proposing. This has now been approved and the new scheme will take effect from the 10th October 2022.
Essentially, this will mean that properties within the agreed area will now need to be licensed irrespective of the size of the property. This is a major change and we strongly advise all landlords to see if they will be affected by this as there will be fines for non-compliance.
Full details can be found here: www.leicester.gov.uk/your-community/housing/renting-private-housing/selective-licensing/
The second change is an expansion of the existing Article 4 regulation which prevents properties from being changed from a regular house into a HMO without planning permission. A consultation was held in November 2021 and following this, unsurprisingly, the decision was made to extend it over significant areas of central Leicester. The expanding scheme will come into force in November 2022.
This won’t affect you if you already operate a property in the area but it will mean that you can’t change an existing building without planning permission. Again we would strongly recommend that you check out the Council website to see if this will impact you.
Carbon Monoxoide Regulations
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1st October 2015.
The amendment Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force on 1st October 2022. From that date, all relevant landlords must:
1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.
- This is already covered with Sulets as we request more robust Automatic Fire Detection in properties we Let, Manage or Lease.
2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
- This is the change that applies to you. You should not have gas/electric fires or open fires in your property, but the majority will have a boiler for heating and hot water. A carbon monoxide detector will be a requirement in the room where the boiler is.
Sulets can arrange this for you and supply and fit a battery powered, ‘sealed for life’ unit, which lasts 7 years, for £60. Please get in touch if you would like us to arrange this for you.
If you prefer to do this yourself, please send confirmation of the type of alarm you have fitted, plus a photo of it in situ, before 15th September 2022, so that we can update our records in time for the 1st October deadline.
What type of carbon monoxide alarm is required?
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms (such as mains powered (‘hard wired’) or battery powered) that should be installed.
Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the type of carbon monoxide alarms based on the needs of their building and their tenants, and that those alarms are compliant with British Standards BS 50291. Where battery powered alarms are selected, alarms with ‘sealed for life’ batteries rather than alarms with replaceable batteries are the better option.
3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.
Landlord referral offer is still available – £100 cash per referral
If you know someone who could benefit from the Sulets service, then please let us know. The more landlords like you that we have on board, the more students we can help and the more successful we will all be. If you are able to recommend someone to us then to say thank you for your help, if the person, or persons, that you recommend sign up to Sulets we will give you a gift of £100 for every property that they list and go on to successfully let through Sulets. Please contact Emma Godsell or Jake Lewis, or your Sulets Property Manager and they will take care of the rest.