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ARLA hits out at government as Section 21 and alarm deadline arrives

The Association of Residential Letting Agents says it strongly supports new health and safety legislation coming into effect today - but insists the government has applied too strict a timeframe for the measures.

As of today, it will be compulsory for landlords or agents acting on their behalf to have fitted smoke alarms on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation; they will also be required to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is burnt.

“We are entirely supportive of the aims of the regulation, but have recommended that the government has implemented too strict a timeframe for this" insists ARLA managing director David Cox. 

"For those who have not yet fitted smoke alarms, we urge them to do all they can ... to ensure that their properties comply with the new regulations that come into play" he says.

He says ARLA has supplied factsheets to assist agents and landlords on other major changes to the private rental sector which come into effect today.

New rules for Section 21 include looking at when Section 21 notices can be served, how long they will be valid for, what needs to be served with them, and a new Section 21 notice.

“On top of all of this, new retaliatory eviction measures will also be coming into force, banning landlords from using Section 21 for six months where a local authority has served an Improvement Notice" says Cox. 

Details are available on www.arla.co.uk

As an example of how even the government itself has found the October 1 deadline hard to meet, only yesterday did the National Landlords Association reveal that it had been sent a draft - not the final version - of the official guidance on how to comply with the new eviction regulations.

"That’s right, with less than 24 hours to go the NLA has a draft copy of guidance (which was expected last week) which should be published shortly to coincide with the commencement of regulations" says the NLA on its website.

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