Landlords and their letting agents can use the services of their inventory clerk to carry out checks of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties if required, it has been confirmed.
From 01 October landlords in England will be required to install smoke detectors on every floor of their property where someone is living or partially living.
Carbon Monoxide alarms must also be fitted in any room within a rented property where there is a solid fuel burning appliance, this includes open fires and wood burners.
Both of these alarms must be tested at the start of every tenancy beginning on or after 01 October and any landlord who doesn’t comply with the new legislation could be hit with a fine of up to £5,000.
This checking requirement, however, does not apply to renewed or statutory periodic tenancies and there has been some confusion and concern surrounding the new rules which has centred on the checking of alarms and who will be able to do it.
Other landlords have raised concerns about extra costs incurred by possibly having to employ a tradesman to carry out the checks.
However, Patricia Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) said that its independent inventory clerks should be able to carry out these checks at the outset of a tenancy if required.
‘As part of an inventory compilation or check in procedure at the beginning of the tenancy, an AIIC independent inventory clerk will be able to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms for power where possible and report back any problems found,’ she explained.
‘This then paves the way for landlords or their property managers to carry out subsequent checks during mid-term visits. While the majority of landlords and agents may already have some sort of procedure in place, hopefully this news will help to put some property professionals’ minds at ease, saving time and money,’ she pointed out.
‘As always we maintain the importance of making sure that any property inventory is carried out by an independent inventory clerk. AIIC clerks are highly trained and can report the presence of each alarm and test for power at the start of the tenancy. A tenant will then be asked to sign a statement agreeing the clerk’s findings,’ she added.