From 1 October 2015, new regulations will require landlords to ensure the fire safety of their tenants, as well as offer protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Landlords will be required to:
- Install a smoke alarm on every floor of their property
- Fit a carbon monoxide detector in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
- Check that all alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy
Enforcement of the new regulations is the responsibility of the local housing authority. If a landlord fails to fit and maintain alarms in their properties, the council has power to levy a penalty charge of up to £5,000.
All ‘specified tenancies’ are affected by the change in rules, i.e. residential premises where a person or persons have a right to occupy the premises and rent is payable.
The regulations specifically exclude registered social landlords from these obligations. Certain types of properties and arrangements are also excluded, such as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), lodgers, long leases, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices. However, other appropriate legislation applies in most cases.
Ahead of the regulations coming into force, all Fire & Rescue Services have been provided with a supply of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms by the Government, to be distributed to landlords free of charge.
Alarms will be distributed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Landlords who do not receive free alarms will still be expected to install alarms in their properties before October as required by the new regulations.
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