Latest News

Lettings boss hit with ban after failing to protect deposits

16 January 2020

A lettings management director from Exeter has been disqualified for six years after failing to safeguard more than £68,000 worth of tenants’ deposits. Read More...

First of its kind case sees tenant awarded £18,000

15 January 2020

A tenant in Glasgow is the first case of its kind to be awarded £18,000 in damages by the First-tier Tribunal from Scotland Housing and Property Chamber. Read More...

900,000 UK residents to see an increase in Housing Benefit

15 January 2020

The UK Government has announced that the freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates has been lifted and could see Housing Benefit payments rise from April. Read More...

Electrical Safety Regulations to come into force

14 January 2020

Subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies. Read More...

New regulations to protect renters from carbon monoxide poisoning

10 January 2020

The Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Government housing policy team has confirmed new regulations will include additional requirements for landlords to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years. Read More...

Battery-powered smoke alarms failed in more than a third of property fires

Monday 02 December 2019

The Local Government Association (LGA) is urging people, including landlords, to test their smoke alarms due to recent analysis which showed nearly two thirds of battery-powered alarms failing in England last year.

Battery-powered smoke alarms, which are accepted as part of a landlord’s legal obligations to install smoke detectors in their properties, are typically cheaper than mains powered alarms but are more likely to fail.

The data showed that firefighters attended more than 7,500 fires in homes with battery-powered alarms last year and found that 38 per cent failed to alert residents of the danger.

Other data showed:

  • Incorrect positioning caused almost half (45 per cent) of the failures, while missing or faulty batteries caused 20 per cent.
  • Of 29,586 property fires attended in England between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, 22,475 homes were fitted with a smoke alarm.
  • Battery-powered smoke alarms were found in 7,692 of the homes - but, of these, 2,899 (38 per cent) failed to sound.
  • Mains-powered smoke alarms were reported to fail in 21 per cent of fires.

Quote mark

'Smoke alarms are proven life-savers, but these worrying ‘failure’ rates are a reminder to people to test their smoke alarms regularly and change batteries where necessary. 

'Smoke alarm ownership has risen over the years to more than 90 per cent, but this encouraging trend is being dangerously undermined if they don’t activate due to faulty batteries. 

'The run-up to the festive season is a timely reminder of the importance of fire safety, but working batteries aren’t just for toys at Christmas – they are needed in smoke alarms all-year round.

'With the increased potential fire risk from Christmas trees, decorations, candles and lighting, and people spending more time using heaters, open fires, and cooking hot food during the colder winter months, anyone without a smoke alarm should buy and fit one as soon as possible. They should also check the alarms of less able family members and those on their own - it may save their life.

'Many fire and rescue services can fit smoke detectors for free as part of a home fire safety visit.' 
Cllr Ian Stephens, chair of the LGA’s fire services management committee

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

ARLA Propertymark members can take advantage of a range of benefits by logging into the ARLA Propertymark website.

Members can download resources which include:

  • Gas Regulations - Danger Do Not Use Notices fact sheet
  • Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018 fact sheet
  • Legal Responsibilities For Gas Safety fact sheet

Login

KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS IN THE KNOW

Propertymark produces consumer guides which aim to cut out jargon for customers in order for them to understand their rights, make informed decisions and use an ARLA Propertymark agent.

Share the Landlord safety responsibilities – smoke alarms, electrical safety and gas checks guide along with many more with your customers.

You can view our guides on the Propertymark website, follow the Propertymark Facebook and Twitter page to share them on social media or download or buy hard copies from the online shop.