Monthly Archives: October 2015

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New Regulations on Smoke and CO2 Alarms – Warning to Residential Landlords


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulation 2015 are expected to come into force on 1st October 2015. They impose a duty on landlords of residential premises in England to:-

  • Install a smoke alarm on each storey of premises that are wholly or partly used as living accommodation.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that is used wholly or partly used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
  • Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.


A new tenancy means a tenancy granted on or after the 1st October 2015. A relevant landlord is the immediate landlord of the premises although a registered provider of social housing is not caught by these regulations.

The new regulations apply to new tenancies after the 1st October 2015 but they do not apply to an occupier who shares accommodation with a resident landlord, student halls of residence, hostels, refuges, hospital, hospices and care homes.

To ensure compliance with the regulations, the Local Housing Authority has power to enforce the regulations. If a Local Housing Authority believes that a landlord has not complied with the regulations, they will serve a Remedial Notice on the landlord. The landlord must then comply with the Remedial Notice within 28 days and if the Local Housing Authority believes, on the balance of probabilities that the landlord is in breach of the landlord’s duty to comply with the Remedial Notice, the authority may require the landlord to pay a penalty charge. The penalty charge will be the amount that the authority determines but has a maximum cap of £5,000.


Houses in Multiple Occupation

It will become a licence condition of HMO’s that a smoke alarm is installed on every storey of the HMO or part 3 house and a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.



 These regulations further increase the burden and responsibilities placed on landlords. The purpose of the regulations is to reduce the number of injuries or death from smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning in the private rented sector. The fine for non-compliance is set deliberately high as a deterrent to landlords and aimed at persuading landlords to comply with these obligations and regulations.


By Terry Rogers



Drying your washing indoors ‘can pose a serious health risk’

Drying your washing indoors can pose a serious health risk to people with weakened immune systems or severe asthma, doctors have warned.

Clothes draped on drying frames or warm radiators can raise moisture levels in the home by up to 30 per cent, creating ideal breeding conditions for mould spores.

Experts are particularly concerned about Aspergillus fumigatus spores, which can cause lung infections. Professor David Denning and his team at the National Aspergillosis Centre in Manchester have issued the warning after treating a growing number of patients who have inhaled Aspergillus fungal spores. Professor Denning said: ‘One load of wet washing contains almost two litres of water, which is released into the room. Most of us are either immune to the fungus which grows in these humid conditions, or have sufficiently healthy system to fight the infection. ‘But in asthma sufferers it cab produce coughing and wheeziness, and inn people with weak or damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, Aids patients and people who have an auto immune disease, the fungus can cause pulmonary Aspergillosis – a condition which can cause irreparable, and sometimes fatal, damage to the lungs and sinuses. My advise would be when in doubt dry wet washing outside, in a tumble dryer or in a well-ventilated indoor space away from bedrooms and living areas to be safe rather than sorry’

Craig Mather, a father of three from Bolton, contracted tuberculosis in 1997. The disease left his lungs weak and aggravated the problems he had been left with after childhood asthma.

Mr Mather, 43, said: ‘I only started to recover when my consultant diagnosed chronic pulmonary Aspergillosis and prescribed me special drugs to fight the fungal infection. However, I noticed coughing fits and night sweats particularly when I had wet washing drying on the warm bedroom radiator. He told me that it could be making my problems worse, so for the last 12 months I haven’t dried my clothes indoors and I’ve noticed a huge improvement  in my health.’

Aspergillosis is the name of a group of conditions caused by a fungal mould called Aspergillus. It usually affects the windpipe, sinuses and lungs, but it can spread to anywhere in the body. Depending on a number of factors, the symptoms of Aspergillosis can vary in severity from mild wheezing to coughing up blood. A previous study carried out by the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow found many homes had too much moisture. Up to a third of this moisture was attributed to drying laundry. Researchers called on house builders to build dedicated drying areas into new housing to address the health concerns.


By Terry Rogers


Rentguard Insurance – Important Notice: IPT Rate Changes


As you may already be aware, there are impending changes to UK IPT charges, which will come into effect from the 1st November 2015.

The standard rate on all products we offer will rise from 6% to 9.5% (excluding Travel Insurance which will remain at 20%)

You may find this most noticeable on renewal premiums, as this may affect the price at which it is offered.

For a detailed breakdown of the changes, please see the points below:

  • The higher rate (5%) tax is to be applied at the date the contract was ‘made’, HMRC have defined ‘made’ as meaning the date at which the policy incepts. Therefore any new or renewal policy which has an effective date from the 1st November or later will be charged at a higher rate.
  • All policies which start before this date will remain at 6%.
  • Additional premiums in respect of policies which incepted prior to the 1st November implementation date may be taxed at the current 6% rate if they are processed before the 1st March 2016.
  • Return premiums must be processed using the rate of tax customers were charged when cover commenced irrespective of the date at which they are processed.
  • From the 1st March 2015 all transactions, irrelevant of the start date will attract the higher rate.


Our systems will be automatically adjusted to allow for the changes, meaning there will be no disruption to our service or action required from yourselves.


As always, if you wish to discuss this or any matter with Rentguard Insurance, please call their Customer Services team on 020 85871 060.


By Terry Rogers