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Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

New Smoke And Carbon Monoxide
Alarm Legislation 
Comes Into Force
On 1st October

On October 1st 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations are supposed to come into force meaning that landlords or their appointed lettings and property managing agents must install a smoke alarm on every floor of a rental property used for accommodation and fit Carbon Monoxide alarms in any room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, and all alarms should be in good working order.

However, there are calls for this legislation to be delayed due to lack of notice and ambiguity of the actual legislation.

The introduction of the new legislation is intended to save lives, we are already aware of the dangers that a potential fire in a residential rented property can cause, however, many landlords remain oblivious to the danger posed by Carbon Monoxide.

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Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer

Carbon Monoxide Is A Silent KillerWhen letting a property equipped with gas appliances all landlords must have an annual gas safety check (CP12) carried out by a gas safe registered engineer, this check will ensure the gas appliances in your property are safe for your tenants to use. Once you have had your gas safety check conducted you must ensure your tenants have a copy of the gas safety certificate within a maximum of 28 days.

It is vital that all gas safety certificates are kept on file for a minimum of two years. Even if a property is only rented on a short term basis you must still have a valid gas safety certificate for your tenants.

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The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued new guidance for landlords and letting agents to control the threat of legionnaire’s disease to tenants.

The HSE want landlords or their managing agents, to carry out risk assessments for legionnaire’s disease, and if necessary, take action.

The revised Approved Code of Practice: “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems,” underlines the legal requirements for landlords and managing agents to ensure that the potential risk to tenants from exposure to the legionella bacteria from all water systems in UK PRS residential rental properties is controlled.

The new guidance insists that landlords and property management / lettings agents must carry out risk assessments to identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps take to prevent or control any risk that is identified and record details on all aspects of their risk assessment controls, keeping records for at least five years.

Landlords and property managing agents need to be aware that the legionella bacteria can thrive and multiply in hot or cold water systems and storage tanks, and be spread throughout the property by showers and taps.

Risk assessments should include assessing whether conditions are right for bacteria to flourish and the following items should all be checked or inspected:

  • In water temperatures between 20C and 45C.
  • Water Storage Tanks, (inc header tanks)
  • Thermostatic mixing valves
  • Debris in the system
  • Infrequently used outlets
  • Areas of stagnant water

Steps taken to control the threat of legionnaire’s disease include disinfecting the system, ensuring water cannot stagnate anywhere, insulating all pipework, and keeping water tanks and cisterns free of debris and covered at all times.

Tenants should also be advised about potential risks and told to take precautions such as flushing through showers they rarely use.

Anyone with concerns can contact their local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) office or Local Authority Environmental Health Department.

Whilst UK banks remain awash with loans made against sub-prime property – a legacy of irresponsible lending during the years leading up to the 2007 financial crisis. The UK’s largest commercial property market lender, Lloyds has been particularly active in trying to reduce its exposure to the volatile sector.

Lloyds Banking Group has been considering bids by dozens of private equity groups, opportunistic buyers and pension funds following the launch of distressed real estate loans three weeks ago.

The banking group now seem set to accept a loss of about 35% on up to £1Billion of commercial property debt as it continues to negotiate with up to four remaining bidders for the portfolio.

Initial bids for the distressed portfolio of loans were tabled at almost £650 Million (GBP) or $1 Billion, a price that would represent a 35% discount to the loans’ face value.

Lloyds hope that accelerating the process could mean that the sale could take place before Christmas this year.

The sale of a portfolio of loans marks a step change in Lloyds’ strategy. It previously only sold individual loans. The move could signal a more aggressive push to deleverage its balance sheet. Lloyds’ overall ambition is to unwind the £24bn worth of bad property loans it holds.

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