With effect from 1st October 2015, Landlords will be immediately required to ensure alarms are installed in their properties and that they are working from the start of each new tenancy.
A smoke alarm (heat detectors are not enough) is necessary on each floor of any property and a carbon monoxide alarm is required in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance.
These regulations cover all private rented properties, included unlicensed HMOs. Licensed HMOs are controlled under other legislation with similar requirements and live-in landlords are not included.
Enforcement of these requirements is the responsibility of the local housing authority who will have the power to issue remedial notices requiring fitting and/or testing of appropriate alarms within 28 days. A failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £5000.
Landlords should be aware that these new regulations do not contain all the fire safety requirements which their premises may be subject to. All landlords should ensure that they or their agents test the alarms at all of their properties regularly to ensure compliance.
The Government has funded local fire and rescue authorities to purchase a limited number of alarms for free distribution to landlords. Fire and rescue authorities have been asked to distribute the alarms and offer appropriate installation advice. While fire and rescue authorities may offer to fit alarms, this service is at the authorities’ discretion and landlords should be prepared to install their own alarms.
Please contact your local fire and rescue service for further information on how to obtain an alarm. You can also visit http://www.alarms4life.com/to check the details of your local fire and rescue authority and for further information regarding applying for the free alarms.