The new Rented Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 have replaced the earlier 1993 Regulations. They place a more onerous obligation on landlords to provide tenants with a property that is properly heated, maintained, structurally sound and water proof. There are provisions within the Regulation in respect of existing tenancies.
Other aspects will be introduced on a phased basis in order to allow landlords time to make remedial improvements. This could necessitate significant refurbishment works and consequently significant capital investment. These aspects will not come into force until February 1st 2013 and include such items dealing with sanitary appliances, sanitary facilities, heating facilities, food preparations, storage and laundry.
Landlords should however note that all provisions of the new Regulations will be applicable immediately for any rented or property being let for the first time after the 1st February 2009. The Regulations have a number of key features including the following:
- Structural condition
- Sanitary fittings
- Heating facilities
- Food preparation and storage
There are also provisions in relation to fire safety requiring fire blankets, fire alarms. The Regulations also set out the requirements in relation to multi unit buildings that these have mains wired smoke alarm, fire blanket and emergency evacuation plan.
As with the 1993 Regulations protected structures were not exempt from these Regulations and must continue to meet the requirements of the new Regulations. Owner occupiers of protected structures should take specialist advise from the Planning Authority in respect of whether such works require Planning Permission for any specific building. Owners will be advised to contact the Conservation Officer of the Local Authority for any advice when considering such works.