Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 13.50.13Tenants in private rented accommodation across Richmondshire will be further protected under a new set of guidelines being introduced by the district council.

Legislation in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 require private sector landlords to fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to properties – and to check them regularly.

The new regulations are enforced by the District Council – and in order to levy penalty charges against landlords that do not conform, the authority’s Licensing Committee has approved a ‘statement of principles’ to use to assess fines.

The legislation – which came into force in October last year – states that:

 a smoke alarm is installed on every floor of residential accommodation

 a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in every room containing a solid fuel burning appliance

 a full fire risk assessment is undertaken

 Checks are made at the beginning of a new tenancy

Where a local authority believes there has been a breach of the rules a remedial notice must be served requiring the landlord to take action within 28 days – if that does not happen they can levy a fine of up to £5000.

“This new legislation offers protection to the people living in rented accommodation – and gives us the power to ensure it is enforced,” said Deputy Leader of the Council and Housing Spokesperson, Councillor Ian Threlfall.

“We can fine landlords up to £5000 for non compliance, although we hope that in Richmondshire we never homes are safe.”