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The recent announcement that from October 2015, there will be a legal requirement for UK landlords to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties may prompt many of those concerned about their increasing regulatory burden to look to sell their buy to let property. Many others, however, are likely to see it as a perfectly understandable move.

Such sentiments would probably be based on the up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year that could be prevented as a result of such a law, according to Housing Minister Brandon Lewis. Indeed, strong support was shown for the measure in a consultation.

Private landlords with any objection to the new rule may be encouraged to read that local fire and rescue authorities are expected to give support to professionals like themselves to ensure that they are fulfilling their new responsibilities, in the form of free alarms - as paid for by government grant funding.

Lewis also emphasised that the government was attempting to strike the right balance between protecting public safety and minimising any regulation that would drive up rents and reduce the number of rental homes available on the market.

He commented: "In 1988, just 8 per cent of homes had a smoke alarm installed, but now it's over 90 per cent. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I'm changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection."

The law, as proposed, will make it necessary for landlords to install smoke alarms on all of their property's floors, in addition to testing the alarm at the start of each tenancy. High risk rooms, such as those where a solid fuel heating system is present, will also need to have carbon monoxide alarms fitted.

Should a landlord fail to install the required smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, they would be subject to sanctions and a possible civil penalty of up to £5,000. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the new regulations are expected to come into force on 10 October 2015.

The good news for landlords is that such alarms are affordable and easy to install. However, these rules aren't the only reason why one may look to sell buy to let property.

Whether you are having to deal with non-paying or other troublesome tenants or possess a dilapidated property that is difficult to sell on the open market, Open Property Group can provide you with a quick and convenient cash house buyer service - just get in touch now for further information.

Published on 27th March 2015

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