Last November 2021, the UK government announced that mandatory smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be enforced starting from October 2022. What effect might this regulation have on London properties? What is the challenge for private landlords? Read on to learn more about this topic.
The new regulations regarding mandatory smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in UK properties are to amend the previous regulations set in 2015. From October 1st 2022, all rented properties must provide these alarms in any room with fixed combustion applications such as boilers or wood burners. They also need to be placed on each floor where there is a room used for living accommodation. Furthermore, when the tenant reports that an alarm is not working properly it must be repaired or replaced promptly by landlords. Finally, for the first day of a new tenancy, landlords must check if the alarms are working correctly.
Statistics report that in the UK, around 20 people are killed every year in accidents related to carbon monoxide poisoning. According to Eddie Huges, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, this new regulation is an important step to protect UK residents.
Jim Bywater, National Fire Chiefs Council for Domestic Detection Lead also agrees these regulations will help to reduce fire and carbon monoxide causalities and fatalities. In fact, with this regulation update, all social rented housing in England will have, by law, fire and carbon monoxide alarms installed for the first time in history!
Challenges for landlords? What to know:
As the law will be implemented on October 1st 2022, landlords still have time to prepare their properties and avoid fines. Research conducted by 3GEM (considering 1,000 social and private housing renters) demonstrates that 27% of surveyed landlords don’t have a smoke alarm, 44% do not have a gas safety certificate – and 51% do not have carbon monoxide alarms. So, there is certainly work to be done by many!
With the new regulation, smoke alarms and monoxide detectors are non-negotiable at properties. This applies to new and existing tenants too. It is crucial to mention that existing tenants must allow landlords access to all the property to execute the alarm tests. In case they don´t allow this process, landlords should inform their local authority, otherwise, they could be fined £5,000.
The law is not specific about the type of alarm landlords must fit in properties. Fortunately, many local fire services will supply free smoke alarms as part of a fire safety check.
To avoid future legal problems, we recommend landlords check the inventory for their property and ask the tenant to confirm and sign a contract that states their acceptance of the property owners examining the alarms. To be sure that you are compliant, check the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations.
Related Article: The Renters’ Reform Bill and How to Prepare
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