In the first half of 2018 there have been several changes to the building regulations. From tougher energy ratings for boilers to new fire safety guidance there are new points to be aware of for most building owners and managers.
We talked about the Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations in a previous blog. To remind you however, as of 1 April 2018, all rented properties must have a minimum EPC energy efficiency rating of E to be rented out to new tenants, or for tenancy renewals or extensions. This means around half a million F- and G-rated homes will need work before they can be let again. In 2020 the regulations will tighten further, when the minimum rating will apply to all private rental sector dwellings, including existing tenancies.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the government began an independent review into building regulations and fire safety. By May this year the review had drawn up a several recommendations regarding flat entrance fire doors, which are critical to providing protection against fire and smoke. The Metropolitan Police found that a five-year-old glazed, composite fire door designed to resist fire for up to 30 minutes as required by the Building Regulations, had failed after approximately 15 minutes. Building owners with flat entrance doors from Manse Masterdor, makers of the failed door, are being urged to review their building’s fire risk assessment to determine the overall fire risk and how quickly these doors should be replaced. As well as meeting the requirements of fire performance contained in Part B of the Building Regulations, front doors should also meet the security requirements set out in Part Q. Jon Cole, who was a member of the Grenfell Technical Group, which reported into the Grenfell Independent Expert Panel, said: “The government’s suggested standards for all replacement doors has put security within the refurbishment sector for the first time, whereas previously, Part Q of the Building Regulation has only been applicable to new homes.” There will doubtless be more repercussions from the Grenfell tragedy in time.
The 18th Edition to the Wiring Regulations was published on July 1st and comes into effect in the new year. With new sections on energy efficiency and fire protection, the introduction of regulations on charging points for electric vehicles and nearly thirty other significant changes this is a comprehensive overhaul of electrical safety in buildings and will begin to affect electrical safety testing straight away.
If properties you own or manage are due for safety reviews or maintenance then please give us a call if we can be of help advising on your requirements.
This post was written by Express Property Services