Landlords “worryingly” unaware of new regulations

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says that their inventory clerk members are frequently receiving queries about the slew of new letting industry regulations brought in over the last 18 months, and in particular they say, regarding carbon monoxide, smoke alarms, safety requirements for blinds and curtains and other health and safety rules.

AIIC has accused both landlords and letting agents of “failing to get a grip” on the new regulations, pointing to the widespread unawareness of the rules by individual landlords, and a severe lack of training by some firms of letting agents. The recent laws concerning window blinds, smoke detectors and carbon dioxide alarms are still a mystery to many in the industry. AIIC has said: “A worryingly large number of letting agents and landlords are still completely unaware of some important new regulations according to our members who are being asked to explain health and safety rules to clients.

The recent laws concerning window blinds, smoke detectors and carbon dioxide alarms are still a mystery to many in the industry. “All AIIC members were informed of the changes several months before they became part of lettings law, every member was sent updates as they became available and free downloadable information is available to them on our website. As the UK’s longest established membership organisation for Independent Inventory Clerks we take standards of working practices very seriously. There is no excuse for anyone in our industry to ignore regulations; this could be dangerous and very costly in the long run.” Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms became mandatory from the 1st October 2015 in England and Wales – smoke alarms on each level of a rental property and CO alarms where there is a solid fuel appliance.

The AIIC says that the agent and landlord queries most… commonly relate to the location and the types of alarm, as well as when they need to be tested. In addition, queries from letting agents and landlords relating to safety requirements for blinds and curtains are quite common. This follows the introduction by the British Standards Institution in 2014 of new safety requirements relating to child safety risks resulting from blinds and curtains. Any curtain or blind which has cords, strings or chains must have breakaway connectors and cord and chain safety retainers. The cords and chains must also be maintained at a minimum 1.5 metres from floor level. In addition, new blinds or curtain tracks fitted by a professional must pass the new standard, meeting the necessary safety requirements and test methods. If an accident involving a non-compliant blind or curtain track takes place in a rental property, the landlord could face prosecution from trading standards.

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