** PLEASE NOTE THE WELSH GOVERNMENT DELAYED THIS LEGISLATION AND WILL NOW TAKE EFFECT FROM 1ST DECEMBER 2022**
Under the Renting Homes Wales Act (2016) new regulations regarding electrical, fire, and carbon monoxide (CO) safety are being introduced. The act clarifies which rooms require a CO detector and who is responsible for their installation and maintenance. Additionally, it changes when smoke alarms and electrical safety certificates need to be checked and renewed.
There are three specific requirements that landlords need to comply with. These include:
According to the Renting Homes Wales Act (2016) a CO detector needs to be installed in every room where there is a fuel source by 1st December 2022. It includes any room with an appliance that uses natural gas, flammable oils, or solid fuels. This is part of the ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ requirements. CO detectors need to be checked and tested at least every 5 years by the Landlord to make sure they are in working order.
From the 15th July 2022, any property that does not have carbon monoxide detectors installed will not meet the ‘‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ requirements. It is important to note that landlords cannot collect rent on any property deemed not fit for human habitation.
For all new tenancies signed on or after the 15th of July 2022, a smoke detector that is connected to mains power and interlinked on each storey must be installed and checked to be in proper working order before the contract occupation date. There is no requirement for the Landlord to test the smoke alarms routinely during the contract, but they must be in repair and in proper working order. If a contract-holder reports a faulty alarm (including the replacement of a battery), it must be repaired by the Landlord.
For contracts that started before 15th July 2022, if the tenancy fixed term ends and the contract goes periodic, the smoke alarms duty will apply from the periodic date or 15th July 2023, whichever is sooner.
If the existing tenancy is already periodic before 15th July 2022 and no new contract is created, the duty applies from 15th July 2023.
The new fitness for human habitation guidelines now also require that an electrical safety report is carried out on rented properties. An electrical safety report is a report that details the conditions of all electricals and wiring in a property and must be carried out by a qualified professional. These reports will be valid for five years unless an expiry date of lower than five years is specified in the report.
Electrical safety report deadlines will apply in the same way as smoke detectors in relation to when they become a legal requirement. In addition, if a contract-holder is in occupation and an electrical report is completed, the Landlord must provide that new report to the contract-holder within seven days of the inspection.
If you are a landlord, we want to make sure your property meets the new fit for human habitation regulations, we will work with you to ensure you are compliant. You can get in touch with us here for more information