New regulations for landlords on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
New legislation to reduce the number of injuries and deaths from smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning in the private rented sector is now in force.
From 1st October 2015, landlords must provide all residential tenants, including those where only part of the property is residential such as a flat over a shop, with a battery-operated smoke alarm on every floor of their property used for living accommodation.
Landlords must also provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel heating appliance, like a wood-burning stove or coal fire. This includes any open fireplace that’s not sealed off and is available to use.
At the start of a new tenancy, the detectors must be tested to ensure they’re in working order. A new tenancy for the purposes of these rules is a new tenancy commencing on or after 1st October 2015.
The express rule to check does not apply to the renewal of a tenancy for the same premises by the same landlord to the same tenant.
However, landlords should still be aware of the existing requirements to install detectors and alarms for pre 1st October 2015 tenancies. And it’s good practice to have a system in place for periodic checking of alarms and detectors in any event.
What this means for you
If you fail to comply, your local authority can inspect your property and serve a remedial notice giving you 28 days to fit the required detectors.
Your local authority can also levy a penalty of up to £5,000 if you still fail to comply after this notice.
In the case of a licensed HMO or where there is selective licensing, it’s the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure these conditions are complied with.
(The provisions only apply in England, not Wales.)
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For full details of the new laws, see The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.Return to the insights archive »
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