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What Landlords Need to Know About Changes to Law on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 26th September 2022
Did you know that the laws around smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties are about to change?
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Change

From 1 October, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in rooms of a privately rented property with any fixed combustion appliance, such as a gas or oil-fired boiler. Previously the alarms were only required where there was a solid fuel burning appliance such as a coal fire or wood burner. The alarms must also be in proper working order from the beginning of any new tenancy.

According to letting industry body Propertymark, there are additional, subtle but significant, changes to the existing legislation and has summarised the main points of the rules:

Smoke alarms - existing regulations say that privately rented homes must have at least one working smoke alarm per storey, where there is a room used as living accommodation. This now applies to the social housing sector too.

Carbon monoxide alarms - as mentioned above, all rented properties must have a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms used as living accommodation, where there is any type of fixed combustion appliance, with the exception of gas cookers.

Smoke alarms should comply with British Standards BS 5839-6 and carbon monoxide alarms with British Standards BS 50291. ‘Sealed for life’ batteries are recommended rather than replaceable ones.

The alarms must be in working order at the start of a tenancy. Landlords or letting agents are legally required to repair or replace faulty alarms as soon as possible. However, if batteries need replacing, this is the responsibility of a tenant, where possible.

If action to deal with a faulty alarm is not taken, local authorities can issue a remedial notice to enforce the replacement or repair, with possible fines of up to £5,000 for breaches in the regulations.

Read more about the changes on the Letting Agent Today website.  

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