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Residential Property

New Regulations on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms


Detailed below are new Regulations which impose a duty on Landlords to install  and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms or face a Local Housing Authority fine of £5,000.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force in September 2015.  They impose a duty on landlords of residential premises in England to:-

  • Install a smoke alarm on each storey of premises that are wholly or partly used as living accommodation.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
  • Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

A new tenancy means a tenancy granted on or after 1 October 2015.  A relevant landlord is the immediate landlord of the premises although a registered provider of social housing is not caught by these regulations.

The new regulations apply to new tenancies after 1 October 2015 but they do not apply to an occupier who shares accommodation with a resident landlord, student halls of residence, hostels, refuges, hospitals, hospices and care homes.

To ensure compliance with the regulations, the Local Housing Authority has power to enforce the regulations.  If a Local Housing Authority believes that a landlord has not complied with the regulations, they will serve a Remedial Notice on the landlord.  The landlord must then comply with the Remedial Notice within 28 days and if the Local Housing Authority believe, on the balance of probabilities that the landlord is in breach of the landlord’s duty to comply with the Remedial Notice, the authority may require the landlord to pay a penalty charge.  The penalty charge will be the amount that the authority determines but has a maximum cap of £5,000.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

It will become a licence condition of HMO’s that a smoke alarm is installed on every storey of the HMO or part 3 house and a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Comment

These regulations further increase the burden and responsibilities placed on landlords.  The purpose of the regulations is to reduce the number of injuries or death from smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning in the private rented sector.  The fine for non-compliance is set deliberately high as a deterrent to landlords and aimed at persuading landlords to comply with these obligations and regulations.  For further advice or help, please contact Rob Cooke.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

 

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