For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Remembrance Day marks the day World War One ended, at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in 1918.
It has been a very busy week for team GPL with repairs, new tenancies starting, as we will shortly be loosing Christine who will be finishing up at the end of the November and because of how assiduous things have been we have had to be diligent with the hand overprocess starting already!
Fire and Smoke Alarms Legislation Changes in Scotland
Scotland is soon to become the first UK nation to require every home to have interlinked fire and smoke alarms regardless of tenure.
This legislative change to the Tolerable Standard comes into force on 1st February 2022 and will apply to all households, both in the private and social housing sectors. Meeting the new standard will be property owners and landlords’ responsibility.
What is required?
By February 2022 every home in Scotland must have:
- a smoke alarm on every storey including hallways and landings a smoke alarm in the part of the property most frequently used such as living room a heat alarm in the kitchen a carbon monoxide detector in the room where there is a fuel burning appliance (like boilers, fires, heaters and stoves) or a flue.
- All smoke and heat alarms must be mounted on the ceiling and interlinked. They can be either mains-powered with battery back-up, or battery-powered with a tamper-proof long-life lithium battery.
- Carbon monoxide detectors do not need to be linked to the fire alarms.
Relevant British Standards
Homeowners and landlords need to ensure that each alarm complies with relevant product standards:
smoke alarms: BS EN 14604:2005
heat alarms: BS EN 5446-2:2003
carbon monoxide detector: British Kitemark EN 50291-1.
The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) advises property owners and landlords to also ensure that all alarms are labelled and marked with the manufacture’s name and address, batch code/date of manufacture, model number and type, and relevant standard number for the type of alarm installed.
If a property is already fitted with fire and smoke alarms but doesn’t meet the new requirements, it is vital to have the existing system expanded with wireless interconnection.
SCOTSS Chair, Graeme Paton, says: “This is a major change to what is required in terms of fire and CO detection in dwellings and we must get the message across that all new and existing systems have to be wholly compliant.”
He also sends a warning: “There is a risk of scammers taking advantage of this situation so we would also urge householders to only use genuine SELECT members or local firms that are approved by Trading Standards to do this work.”
Technical Services Director at SELECT, Bob Cairne, adds: “The clock is ticking. February will be upon us before we know it and it is of the utmost importance that both householders and those installing the alarms clearly understand what is required for compliance.
“SCOTSS has rightly warned consumers of the danger that unscrupulous people might try to take advantage of those who are unsure about how to comply and about the need to use trusted sources of information.
“For mains-powered alarms or where householders need help to install battery-powered alarms, we would ask that they use a qualified electrician.”
I have no doubt that further information will be published and we shall keep you as up to date as possible.
Landlord change of heart
A Glasgow landlord has been fined £2,400 for misleading his former tenants into surrendering occupation of a property which they wouldn’t have left otherwise.
Lesley Munro and Grant McNicoll applied to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber for a Wrongful Termination Order after their landlord, David Ross served a notice on them to leave their Dennistoun flat in December 2020, giving them until 6th March 2021 to vacate.
To repossess the property, the landlord used ground 4 of schedule 3 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 claiming that he intended to live in the property. The tenants, however, argued that the ground cited by the landlord was bogus given his conduct after they had vacated the property on 13th January 2021, having found alternative accommodation and serving their own notice to terminate the lease on 18th December 2020.
Radical change in intentions
Although the landlord moved in to the property at the time it became vacant, he instructed an estate agent to market it for sale only 19 days after taking possession, and subsequently accepted an offer with a date of entry of 30th March 2021.
At the telephone hearing where all parties appeared without representation, the First-tier Tribunal heard that the applicants were happy with their tenancy and wouldn’t have left if it wasn’t for the notice to leave that they had been served.
The respondent when asked to demonstrate proof of his radical change in intentions from living in the property to selling it, could not “give a coherent explanation for such a significant change of heart.”
When asked a straightforward question, the respondent was evasive and prevaricated. The respondent blamed his financial difficulties; he then cited physical health problems, before finally blaming the Covid-19 pandemic,” noted the Tribunal in its decision, and concluded:
“The applicants only brought the tenancy of the property to an end because they received the notice to leave stating that the applicant wants to recover possession of the property so that he can use it as his own home. On the facts as we find them to be, 19 days after recovering the property the applicant marketed it for sale. The only realistic conclusion that we can reach is that the respondent misled the applicants, and, as a result of his misrepresentation, the applicants surrendered occupation of the property.”
The Tribunal ordered the landlord to pay three times the amount of the monthly rent to reflect the gravity of his actions.
HMO Licence Denied to Landlord Couple Charging Tenants for Shower
I have been sent this story a few times and clearly it is not best practice!
A landlord couple have been refused an HMO licence renewal after confessing they made their tenants pay every time they used the shower.
The landlords who are named in the article have been renting their four bedroom property in Cartvale Road, Langside in Glasgow as a licensed HMO since at least 2008.
20p for 20 minutes
When applying for the license renewal, they admitted to the licensing and regulatory committee that they installed a coin meter in the property and charged their tenants 20p to wash every time.
The Glasgow councillors heard from the landlord duo that the 20p would buy tenants 20 minutes in the pay as you go shower.
The couple would then make a trip all the way down from Inverness to empty the coin meter every couple of months.
During the inspection, Glasgow council found seven issues at the property, including missing carbon monoxide detector, three bedrooms needing modernising and a kitchen in a one bedsit requiring a thorough clean, redecoration and the floor covering replaced, if the HMO licence was to be granted in the future.
When asked about the regime for property inspections, Mr & Mrs Johnstone admitted to the committee that it would involve travelling, which prompted a question from the disappointed Chair Councillor, Alex Wilson: “Did you just empty the coins and walk away?”
Citing Covid as the reason for the state of affairs, Mr Johnstone said: “We have not been able to get down and do the inspections we would have in the past. We hold our hands up. We got it wrong this time. Things will improve – we are happy to admit that.” He confirmed that a letting agency would be employed to manage the property going forward.
We shall be observing the silence today at 11am , and I will be thinking of my great – grandfather and those like him who are remembered in photographs and stories.
Take care and stay safe, remembering that hope that never be taken away,
17 Elmbank Street
0141 221 3990
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
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