Monthly Archives: March 2015

smoke alarmSmoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to become the law

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under new measures announced by housing minister Brandon Lewis.

The government says the move will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year.

This measure is expected to take effect from October 2015, and comes with strong support after a consultation on property condition in the private rented sector.

England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free smoke alarms, with grant funding from government.

Lewis said: “In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarms installed – now it’s over 90%.

“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.

“But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”

The proposed changes to the law would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said: “This is a policy that we campaigned hard for, and was a key part of the RLA’s manifesto for the private rented sector.

“Proposals for funding to provide free smoke alarms to landlords are particularly welcome and I look forward to seeing the details of this.”

Bank of EnglandMPC holds base rate to mark 6th anniversary at 0.5%

Committee members also voted to maintain the programme of quantitative easing at £375bn. The QE programme has remained unchanged since July 2012, when it was increased from £325bn.

Minutes from the committee’s February meeting showed it voted unanimously to maintain base rate as it seeks to achieve its target inflation rate of 2 per cent.

The minutes from March’s MPC meeting will be published on 18 March.

Reports of fake law firms have increased by 125% in the last two years, according to figures from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Criminals are pretending to be genuine lawyers to try to con clients.

The SRA, which regulates solicitors in England and Wales, said it recorded 701 reports about bogus law firms in 2014, up from 312 in 2012.

It follows a warning from the Law Society of Scotland that the number of fake firms is on the rise.

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