From 1 October 2015, anyone letting all or part of their property for rent is required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a coal fire or wood burning stove. This requirement will apply to any letting, except for those where the landlord also lives in the same premises.
Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, any landlord who fails to comply with this requirement could face a fine of up to £5,000.
These requirements apply to both new and existing tenancy agreements, and the landlord is obliged to make sure that the necessary alarms are in place and in working order in time for the 1 October. Following this, the landlord is also required to re-check the alarm at the start of each tenancy (the date in the tenancy agreement, not necessarily when the tenant decides to actually move into the property). It is recommended that the landlord should obtain confirmation from the tenant that the alarm is in good working order when the tenancy begins.
Should the alarm require replacing or repairing during the tenancy, it is the responsibility of the tenant to notify the landlord of this, and to allow the landlord access to replace or repair the alarm.
The regulations do not specify the type of alarms to be installed, nor where they should be placed. Local fire and rescue authorities have been asked to offer appropriate installation advice, and in some cases can provide alarms free of charge. However, this is entirely at the authorities’ discretion, and landlords should be prepared to install their own alarms at their own expense.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.