Landlords beware: Your obligations under the new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015

20th October 2015

As of 1 October 2015, all landlords in the private rental sector in England will have to fit and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties under with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The new regulations recently passed through Government are part of the Government’s initiative to prevent around 25 deaths and nearly 700 injuries a year caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.

 

What does this mean for landlords?

The Regulations require landlords to install at least one smoke alarm at the start of the tenancy period and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Smoke alarms are to be installed on every storey of a property, even if the storey only contains a bathroom.
Failure to comply with the Regulations could leave landlords with a £5,000 civil penalty.

The good news for landlords is that it will be the tenants’ responsibility to maintain the alarms throughout the term of their tenancy.

Do the regulations apply to all rental properties?

No. Alongside other exclusions, the Regulations do not apply to:
• Houses with live-in landlords;
• Properties let under long leases instead of short-term tenancies; and
• Student halls of residences.

Why were landlords not given more notice of the incoming Regulations?

The Regulations have attracted significant criticism, with many landlords claiming that not enough warning has been given to them to enable them to bring their properties up to the required standards. To assist, a number of Fire and Rescue Services including Avon Fire and Rescue Service have offered to provide landlords with a limited number of alarms and will provide free checks and advice to landlords who need to take urgent action to comply with the Regulations.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published two booklets containing guidance for local authorities, landlords and tenants on the new regulations which can be found on their website at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brandon-lewis-raises-the-alarm-over-tenant-safety

If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Emma Hales on 0117 947 3283 or emma@murrellassociates.co.uk.

The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Any law quoted in this article is correct as at October 2015. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances before any action is taken. Copyright © Murrell Associates Limited, October 2015.

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