Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

3rd November 2015
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms image

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Introduction

Prior to the 1st October 2015 there was no statutory requirement upon private landlords to install smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors in their properties.  This has now changed, with the introduction of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (“the Regulations”) which came into force on the 1st October 2015.

What do Landlords need to do?

Landlords will need to install a working smoke alarm on every storey of their properties that are being used for “living accommodation” and install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as “living accommodation” where solid fuel is being used.

Every landlord will need to have done this by the 1st October 2015 for existing tenancies and for all new tenancies starting after that date.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that the alarms are working at the start of the tenancy.  However, tenants are responsible for looking after them during the tenancy.

“Living accommodation” includes bathrooms and toilets, but it is uncertain at this stage as to whether or not it includes areas which are just used for storage like basements or lofts.

Solid fuel means coal or wood, not gas or oil.  Although carbon monoxide alarms are recommended for rooms with gas or oil heating, the Regulations do not make it compulsory.

The Regulations do not apply to “live in” landlords, social landlords, HMO landlords (because they are subject to similar rules under the HMO Regulations) and landlords of leases with a term of 7 years or more.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the Regulations will be the responsibility of the local authority.

If a landlord is in breach of the Regulations, the local authority should issue a remedial notice requiring the landlord to fit the alarms within 28 days.   The landlord must take all reasonable steps to comply.  If the landlord fails to fit the alarms and has not taken all reasonable steps, then the local authority (subject to the tenants granting them access) can arrange for this work to be done and then serve a penalty notice on the landlord for a sum of up to £5,000.

If a landlord thinks that this is unfair he can ask for the notice to be reviewed and can also possibly appeal it.

Comments

Daven Naghen, head of our Litigation Team, has commented as follows:-

“From a health and safety point of view the Regulations obviously make good sense.  Many responsible landlords will have been ensuring smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms have been installed in their properties prior to it becoming compulsory.”

If you are a landlord or a tenant requiring advice about smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide alarms or any other issues relating to a tenancy agreement then please do not hesitate to contact Daven on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or visit our offices or arrange an appointment at our offices at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1DH.


Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic image

Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We appreciate that many people will be considering making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney now, more than ever, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. At Maples Solicitors we will work around those who are self-isolating and we will continue to follow Government guidance by keeping our distance from others. This does mean that we can now offer “Through your Window Wills”. We will take instructions for your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney via the telephone, video calls or e-mail and we can attend at your home and arrange the signing and witnessing of the documents through your window.

 

Our costs for dealing with Wills are as follows:-

Our Simple Wills service offers a comprehensive service to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.  

If you are married or have a partner and want to make mirror Wills our cost are £360 (inclusive of VAT).

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £300
  • VAT on legal fees £60

If you want to make a single Will our costs are £210 (inclusive of VAT). 

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £175
  • VAT on legal fees £35

The Simple Will Service includes: 

  • Appointment of Executors
  • Provision for your funeral wishes
  • Appointment of Guardians for minor children
  • Provision for specific legacies including money and personal items to named beneficiaries
  • Basic Inheritance Tax advice
  • Advice with regard to the distribution of your residuary estate to your intended beneficiaries
  • Draft Will with full explanation in plain English sent to you in the post
  • Answering any queries you have on the draft Will
  • Face to face meeting at our offices to sign the Will with a Solicitor or Legal Executive
  • Registration with Certainty the National Wills Register 
  • Secure lifetime storage 

This service does not include: 

  • Complex inheritance tax advice and planning
  • Assets that are situated abroad
  • Property protection advice
  • Advice with regard to disinheriting family members 

If it becomes apparent additional work will be needed we will inform you of the additional work required and confirm the additional costs.

If you would like to make a “Through your Window Will” or Lasting Powers of Attorney please telephone the office on 01775 722261 or e-mail enquiries@maplessolicitors.com.

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Testimonials

Jamie Dobbs SCILEx

"I should like to take this opportunity to express my very sincere and grateful thanks for Jamie's unfailing helpfulness and efficiency in all aspects of the handling of my late stepmother's estate. Jamie have always replied to my (many!) queries promptly and comprehensively which has been a enormous help throughout what I know can be a fraught and stressful process. Sadly, it is increasingly rare these days to experience the highs standards of service that Jamie has provided."

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.