On 1 October, new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm rules will come into force for rented properties in England and Wales. Agents are being urged to check that their landlords’ properties will still be compliant.
Under the new rules, all rented homes must have a working carbon monoxide alarm in any room that is used as living accommodation and includes any fixed fuel-burning appliance (except for gas cookers). In practice, the biggest change is that gas boilers are now included – the old rules only covered solid fuel appliances like wood burners.
Landlords in the social sector, including local authorities and housing associations, will now also need to make sure their homes have at least one smoke alarm on each floor used as living accommodation. This rule already applies in the private rented sector.
The alarms are installed. Now what?
Testing alarms during a tenancy is up to the tenant, as is replacing batteries. However, landlords and agents must take all reasonable steps to repair or replace alarms when tenants report that they aren’t working. Failure to do so, or to install the necessary alarms in the first place, can result in a fine of up to £5,000 per breach.
Some types of accommodation are exempt, including homes where the tenant is lodging with the landlord or the landlord’s family, as well as student halls of residence.
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