The New Fire Safety Laws and the Impact This May Pose to Agents
The introduction of the 2021 Fire Safety Act has made crucial alterations to the responsibilities of landlords and agents forcing them to undertake different roles within the process. The last fire safety law was imposed in 2005 and is therefore out of date with modern technology, legal repercussions and guidelines. The purpose behind the 2021 fire safety act is to more clearly deduce where the responsibility behind the creation of fire hazards or damage lies.
The new laws will apply to buildings that contain more than one home and are over eighteen metres or seven stories in height or as summarised in the legislation itself: “An Act to make provision about the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises; and to confer power to amend that order in future for the purposes of changing the premises to which it applies”. These specifications were imposed in order to try and prevent the recurrence of a tragedy such as Grenfell Tower.
What Does This Actually Mean?
This regulation aims to make the duty holder responsible for managing and reducing the risk of fire posed by the structure of the building, walls, windows, doors and any other elements that may hold influence over fire safety. If, for any reason, any of these elements are neglected fire and rescue services can hold the duty holders directly responsible leading to legal repercussions.
How Do I Know If This Impacts Me?
Chances are if you’re the owner of a large building with multiple homes present the changes will not be anything new to you but it may be wise to go over the changes specifically to clarify if your property meets the criteria, the full text on what is required from you can be found on the government legislation page. On the other hand, if you’re a tenant within a multi-home building that you believe may be subject to the changes you may wish to check with your landlord that those changes are already in place or if not, that they are planning on implementing them very soon. In both cases making sure that you are aware of the ins and outs of the legislation will be beneficial in the long term.
Ensuring that you meet the criteria regardless of if you stand on the side of the tenant or the landlord is vital with these changes and their implementation and regulation by the government is almost guaranteed to lead to a likely legal repercussion when not followed. Making sure your tenants are safe and well is a basic requirement for any good landlord.
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