New obligations on Landlords to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in all rented properties
In March 2015, Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, announced that it would soon become a requirement for all landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. This new legislation will bring private rented properties in line with existing building regulations that now exist in respect of newly built homes which must have hard wired smoke alarms installed.
It is anticipated that these measures will take effect from 15 October 2015.
£3,000,000 of government funding has been provided to enable nearly 500,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to be made available for installation in the coming months.
Carbon monoxide is tasteless, colourless and odourless and is produced by incomplete combustion. Statistics show that there are approximately 50 deaths per year and over 1,100 hospital admission per year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK.
Statistics released in March 2015 regarding Great Britain between April 2013 and March 2014 show that fire and rescue services attended 212,500 fires. Over two thirds of fire related deaths occurred in accidental dwelling fires. Dwellings with no some alarms accounted for 38% of deaths in home fires in Great Britain and nearly one fifth of deaths occurred where no smoke alarm worked.
It will be necessary for smoke alarms to be fitted on every floor of every rented property and carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in rooms of properties that are deemed high risk, which have fuel fires or boilers located within them.
Landlords will be obligated to test the alarms at the beginning of every new tenancy, though the obligation of regular testing remains the tenants during their period of occupation. If landlords do not comply with this new legislation, they run the risk of incurring a penalty of up to £5,000.
It is therefore strongly recommended that all Landlord’s ensure that they are complying with the Regulations in good time for when they come in to force.
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