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New Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm regulations

New Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm regulations
Private Landlords

There are many different hoops that a landlord has to jump through before renting their property. Most of the requirements are purely safety precautions. New regulations that come into place today are precisely this.

As of 1st October all landlords are required to:

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of their property.

  • Fit a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms containing a solid fuel appliance.

  • Check that all alarms are working when a new tenancy starts.

Government statistics suggest that these new regulations will help to prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. Considering that both a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm will set you back (roughly) £50 together, this seems a very small figure to prevent these deaths and injuries. When this new legislation was proposed under the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, it was part of a series of government moves to ensure sufficient measures are in place to protect public safety, while at the same time limiting regulations which would push up rents, restricting numbers of rental properties and choice for tenants.

As with all legislation, there are penalties in place for those who fail to comply and install these alarms. In this situation, the fine will be up to £5,000.

Current legislation regarding building regulations, requires that new builds have smoke detectors hard-wired into the build. The aim of this new legislation for private landlords is to bring privately rented properties into line with existing building regulations.

It is the responsibility of the tenant to regularly test the alarms and replace the batteries when required. It is also expected that letting agents should also check the alarms during their regular visits. If you are renting a property and feel unable to carry out these checks or replace the batteries, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

5 top tips for fire safety in the home.

  1. The new legislation requires a smoke alarm on every floor of the property. Consider putting one in each room. It is also a good idea to consider putting one on the ceiling of a hallway or landing (just think about being able to reach and test them if the ceiling is very high!) These extra alarms will act as back up if one of the other alarm fails. Your tenant is earning you money – keep them as safe as you can!

  2. Alarms should be checked regularly and when a new tenant moves in. A new tenant will have a lot to take in when they move into their new property, but remembering to check the alarms regularly is a very important one for them to remember.

  3. Escape plan – think about how your tenant might be able to leave your property, and tell them if there are any unusual exit routes.

  4. Exits and stairs should be kept well clear.

  5. The best exit is generally the normal route in and out of the property.

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