An industry body is warning that letting agents and landlords in the UK are not up to speed with laws covering the lettings sector.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says its members are increasingly receiving inquiries about regulations covering the sector from agents and landlords.
They are mainly concerned with the laws covering smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as window blinds.
It's now a year since the law was brought in for letting agents and landlords to install smoke alarms on each floor of the rental property while any room with a solid fuel appliance, such as open fires and wood burners, needs a carbon monoxide alarm fitted.
Landlords are, apparently, asking the AIIC what type of smoke alarms are needed, when they should be tested and where they need to be located.
Enquiries from agents and landlords about safety rules
The organisation is also receiving enquiries from agents and landlords about the safety rules regarding curtains and blinds.
That's because the British Standards Institution brought in new safety rules in 2014 that were aimed at addressing the risks posed to child safety by curtains and blinds.
Essentially, the rules mean that any property with a blind that has chains or cords must have breakaway connectors. The cord and chain needs to be at least 1.5 meters from the floor.
Should someone be injured in an accident that involves a non-compliant curtain track or blind then the landlord faces a potential prosecution from their local Trading Standards department.
Landlords and agents are unaware of important new regulations
The AIIC's chairman, Patricia Barber, said: “It's a worrying number of landlords and agents who are unaware of important regulations who are asking our members to clarify health and safety rules.
“There's no excuse for landlords to ignore regulations in the industry which could be costly and dangerous.”
Ms Barber added that all letting agents and landlords should strive to understand their legal obligations and urged other trade bodies to publish helpful information for landlords.
HMRC urges landlords to get touch
Meanwhile, HMRC is urging landlords to respond to its Let Property Campaign so they can pay the correct amount of tax on their property.
The scheme offers landlords an opportunity for paying their tax arrears and more than £50 million in unpaid taxes has been collected so far.
HMRC points out that most landlords who get in touch owe just a few hundred pounds and many of these are small and ‘amateur’ landlords.