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Property industry criticises shoddy smoke alarm regulations

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has branded the content of two government communications “plain farcical” after it gave unclear guidance over restrictions to Section 21 “no fault possession” notices, not long after a confused debate over smoke alarm regulations in the House of Lords.
 
The possession rules were released with just days before they officially came into force, but were practically unintelligible without further information and guidance – meaning that many landlords simply would not have the time or understanding to adopt them properly.
 
CEO of the NLA Richard Lambert was scathing about the issue, as well as the recent debacle over smoke alarms. “These regulations are poorly worded, badly timed and are being tabled with just days to spare before they are due to come into force… As we understand it, there will be no guidance from the Government explaining how to comply before then. How can a landlord about to let a property on a tenancy from the start of October be expected to comply with these new requirements if they’ve not been told what they are and what is expected?… It’s shoddy, to say the least. Coming hot on the heels of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm debacle in the Lords yesterday, which due to official incompetence looks highly unlikely to come into force this year, this is something akin to a Laurel and Hardy sketch.”
 
The much-needed regulation on smoke alarms would have compelled landlords to install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms on each floor of a property. However, the House of Lords rejected draft legislation at a very late stage, on the grounds that the government had not done enough to communicate the required changes to landlords. The result is that landlords will not have enough time to implement the changes when they are agreed, putting them at risk of a £5,000 fine.
 
Landlords with any doubt about the implications of the legislation are urged to seek appropriate legal assistance to avoid problems.

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