The government has now released draft legislation to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This is expected to come into effect from 1 October 2022.
These amendments will bring social housing in line with the private rental sector in terms of safety requirements, by making it mandatory for social housing properties to be fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
The amendments will also update the requirements on carbon monoxide detectors for landlords, responding to tenant notifications, and set time limits for local authorities to respond to representations from the landlord.
Under the current regulations, landlords are expected to fit a smoke alarm on every floor that is used as a living space. The only change here is that social housing landlords will also be required to do this from 1st October.
Having an interlinked, hardwired smoke alarm system will continue to be a condition of HMO licensing with most councils, but for now at least, there is no set requirement on the type of alarm to be fitted within the regulations.
In England, the good news is that battery alarms will still be acceptable in single let properties. We strongly recommend that landlords fit 10-year non-replaceable smoke alarms, which can’t have batteries removed, but are still more cost effective than a hard wired system.
Make a note of the date on the smoke alarm when you install it and make sure it’s replaced within the recommended 10 years.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Currently the regulations only require landlords to fit carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a solid fuel burning appliance such as a log or coal fire.
From 1 October however, at the start of any new or renewed tenancy, all properties will require carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted in every room that contains a fuel burning appliance. This excludes gas cookers.
These regulations will apply to both private and social housing landlords.
Requirement to Replace or Repair
Under the current requirements, landlords are responsible for ensuring all alarms are working at the start of a new tenancy. Throughout the tenancy, it is by default the responsibility of the tenant to check the alarms and replace the batteries.
From 1 October if a landlord is notified by a tenant of a faulty or non-working smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, they must investigate and repair or replace the alarm as soon as reasonably possible.
Local Authority Enforcement
Under the current regulations local authorities can serve a remedial notice requiring a landlord to fit smoke or CO detectors where required.
If a landlord is in breach, the local authority may impose a penalty fine up to a maximum of £5,000.
If the local authority upholds a penalty charge notice, a landlord can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal. The grounds of appeal are:
- Local authority has made an error of fact or law
- The amount of penalty charge is unreasonable
- The decision to impose a penalty is unreasonable for any other reason
At Horizon Lets we see the new rules as an important step towards ensuring better quality, safer homes. We are already taking action to install carbon monoxide alarms in the properties that we manage and ensure all our landlords are compliant with new rules well before October 22.
Our Mid-Term Inspections also include testing the functioning of all alarms fitted in the property, with the process documented in the report to prove this was done. We help landlords stay on top of legislative changes so contact us today if you want some advice.
- New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Laws Introduced
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms Will Soon be REQUIRED in all Rental Properties
- A Landlords Guide To Smoke Alarms
- What Are A Landlords Gas Obligations
- Landlord’s Guide to Letting Property