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Landlord Responsibilities

Regulations Update:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – From the 1st October 2015 the law is changing and the following requirements will be imposed on all landlords when their properties are occupied:

(i) a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation (including a bathroom or WC).

(ii) a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a gas or solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

(iii) checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

If found in breach of any of the regulations set out in The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 a landlord could be charged an penalty charge of up to £5,000.

Legionella/Legionnaires – Under general health and safety law, as a landlord, you have health and safety duties and need to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.

Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks.

Failure to comply, or show other equally effective COSHH compliance, could result in prosecution.

Energy Efficiency – The Energy Act 2011 enables Government to help ensure the take up of cost effective energy efficiency improvements in the Private Rented Sector. Government regulations are:

- from 1st April 2016, domestic landlords should not be able to unreasonably refuse requests from their tenants for consent to energy efficiency improvements;

- from 1st April 2018, all private rented properties (domestic and non-domestic) should be brought up to a minimum energy efficiency standard rating, set at EPC rating “E” whenever a new tenancy is signed to either: a new tenant, or to an existing tenant.

- from 1st April 2020, ALL privately rented properties must have an EPC rating of “E” or above, regardless of tenancy.

Failure to comply and bring properties up to the “E” standard could result in a penalty charge of up to £9,000.


Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires' Disease. Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires' Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced.

What is Legionnaires' Disease?

Legionnaires' Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.

Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.