At Alliance Property Group we like to ensure our investors are always kept up to date with any changes and requirements in new legislation in Scotland.
What is the new change in legislation?
It has been a few years since it has been the law to have smoke detection equipment in private rented properties.
The law currently is that you need a smoke alarm in each living area (in practice, living rooms) and circulation areas (in practice, halls and landings) as well as heat alarms in kitchens. These need to be hard-wired and inter-connected (meaning that if one goes off then all go off).
Most landlords can understand the benefit of having this safety detection equipment in their properties but there is genuine gripes about the damage or unsightliness of the hard-wiring particularly in older buildings with, for example, ornate cornicing. This is particularly the case given the significant advances in battery technology since the law was introduced.
What is the start date? The Scottish Government has listened to these concerns and from 1 March 2019 landlords will be permitted to install inter-linked long-life sealed lithium battery alarms instead of mains powered ones.
As an aside, from 1 February 2021, all properties in Scotland must meet the same standard of smoke/heat and CO alarm provision as the Private Rented Sector, regardless of tenure. This means that there will be a level playing field in this regard for private, social and Council landlords ….. which is something that private landlord has been asking for a long time now.
The new legislation confirms that from the 1st of March, the repairing standard can be complied with by installing either mains-operated alarms or tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarms. The guidance stipulates that smoke alarms must conform to BS EN 14604 and heat alarms to BS 5446-2. The full guidance is in the link below.
Do I need to do anything?
In summary and most importantly, any properties that have been purchased, refurbished and being managed by a letting agent through Alliance Property Group then it will meet and exceed the required standard.
They all have compliance with an EICR electrical safety certificate as well as all smoke, heat and C02 alarms are hard-wired and interlinked to future proof the long-term maintenance of the property and its compliance so there is no need or requirement for any action.