Landlords are being urged to take heed of forthcoming changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations as the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) says they could come into effect as soon as Autumn 2022.
Under the current rules, since 1 October 2015 landlords have needed to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They also must put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG. Landlords or agents must ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.
The UK Government consulted in November 2020 seeking views on proposals to extend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. Following the consultation, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes MP, said there would be the following key changes to the rules:
- carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented homes.
- carbon monoxide alarms will also be mandatory upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations
- private and social landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty.
- smoke alarms will be mandatory in all social rented homes
In communication to the sector, DLUHC is urging all private landlords and registered providers of social housing who would not be compliant with these regulations at present to begin installation and repair of these alarms immediately, as they risk being fined for breaching the rules as soon as they come into force.
In response to the announcement, Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark said:
“Parity across tenures is a key focus of the UK Government and extending the regulations to gas appliances will provide additional levels of protection for tenants.
“Letting agents should be aware that the changes will introduce an obligation on private landlords to repair or replace any alarm which is found to be faulty during the period of a tenancy.
“The current regulations only oblige landlords to check that alarms are in working order on the first day of a new tenancy. Ahead of implementation, agents and their landlords should start now to plan for the changes and the impact on management practices going forward.”