Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, to take effect from October 2015. Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.
Smoke alarms will need to be installed on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed. This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.The move will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.
England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from government.
This is part of wider government moves to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety, while at the same time avoiding regulation which would push up rents and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants. Working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility. A key part of that is to ensure the safety of tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning. People are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.
For more information and support see How to rent guide so tenants and landlords alike are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government