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CO alarms in rented properties: do you know the facts?

January 13, 2016 featured image

On October 1st 2015, new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations kicked in to help protect tenants of privately rented properties in England. But a few months in, do you know the facts? Could you expertly advise your landlord or tenant customer base?

We have reported on the new regulations before and it’s caused some confusion in the past so here it all is, simplified and, hopefully, clear as day!

Here’s a reminder of what’s what:

  • Landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g a wood burning stove). Thereafter they must make sure these are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
  • The new regulations only apply to private landlords in England
  • It is not a legal requirement for landlords to fit a carbon monoxide alarm in a room with gas burning appliances, although this is always recommended as best practice
  • Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the regulations. Private landlords who fail to install smoke and Co alarms could face a civil penalty of up to £5,000

The regulations have already highlighted several negligent landlords with a number of prosecutions in the short time they have been in force. Back in December 2015, Reading Borough Council prosecuted a landlord with inadequate fire precautions in a house in multiple occupation; the landlord left with a £4,000 court bill.

Bradford district has been identified, by the government, as a hotspot for rogue landlords, with just under 600 complaints from tenants in the first two quarters of 2015/16, many relating to breaches in fire safety. In a bid to crackdown on negligent landlords, the council has confirmed private landlord found to be flouting the new regulations will receive a remedial notice giving them 28 days to comply or face a £5,000 fine.

Good advice

Help your customers comply by recommending our Gas Safety Awareness in Social Housing or Residential Premises Course; there are no pre-requisites for this course, which could quite literally prove a life-saver!

For full details of the Smoke Alarm and CO Regulations, click here


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