Purbeck District Council in Dorset is reminding landlords and tenants of legislation affecting the private rented sector that recently came into force.
The legislation includes the power to Councils to impose heavy fines for non-compliance - £2000 for a first offence, rising to £5000 if a landlord commits more than two offences.
Since October 2015, all privately rented property must be fitted with smoke detectors on every storey and carbon dioxide detectors in high risk rooms, for example where solid fuels are used. Landlords must check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working at the beginning of each new tenancy. Failure to comply could lead to a fixed penalty notice from the Council.
At the beginning of each new tenancy, landlords must give their tenants a new information booklet produced by the Government called ‘How to rent’; an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC); and a current Gas Safety Certificate (if there are gas appliances in the property).
Tenants also have rights which prevent retaliatory eviction by their landlord in the event that a tenant complains about the state of repair of their property.
Letting agents representing landlords must also be registered with an official dispute resolution scheme approved by the Government.
Richard Conway, Environment Manager, Public Health and Housing Services at Purbeck District Council, said, ‘Although the majority of private landlords in Purbeck have already ensured their properties are compliant, we are making this reminder to ensure all private landlords are meeting the requirements set down in law.
Mr Conway added, “Council officers will investigate all complaints made by tenants in the privately rented sector. Officers will issue fixed penalty notices for a landlord who has failed to install smoke or carbon monoxide detectors or if a letting agent has failed to register with an official registration scheme."
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