Landlords, Smoke Detectors and the Law

Landlords, Smoke Detectors and the Law

As a landlord or even a tenant have you ever wondered what the legal requirement is regarding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that you must provide or have fitted within your rented property?

 

If the answer is yes then read on….

By law from 1 October 2015 landlords are required to ensure alarms are installed in their properties, The regulations stipulate that smoke alarms are to be installed on every level of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Once installed, the landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) must ensure all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

 

After the landlord’s test on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. Testing monthly is the recommended frequency for smoke alarms. If tenants find that their smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is not working during their tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the landlord.

 

For each new tenancy beginning on or after 1 October 2015, landlords must check that the all alarms fitted within the property are in good working order on the first day of the tenancy.

The first day of the tenancy is quantified as the date stipulated in the tenancy agreement, even if the tenant decides to move into the property on a later date.

 

The regulations are there to ensure the safety of private sector tenants. The landlord should write to the tenant to explain that it is a legal requirement to install the alarms and that it is for the tenant’s own safety.

 

If the local authority has reasonable grounds to believe the landlord has not adhered to the regulations a notice will be issued, detailing the suspected breach and the action needed to resolve the issue.

 

If the landlord proves compliance to their local authority or demonstrates they have taken all reasonable steps short of legal proceedings, to become compliant within 28 days of the notice being issued then they will be spared the civil penalty – which could be up to £5,000.

 

The regulations aren’t specific as to the type of alarms (such as hardwired or battery powered) that should be installed, it is down to the landlord to make an informed choice and pick the best alarms for their properties and tenants. It goes without saying that the more smoke alarms fitted in a property, the safer the inhabitants will be.

 

Bear in mind that testing a smoke detector is not just as simple as pressing the button. Pressing the button on a domestic smoke alarm will test the sounder but to test it properly you will need to either purchase a product which can do this such as canned smoke  or ask a professional company to carry out a periodic test on the fire alarm.

Testing a carbon monoxide alarm properly also involves using a product to test the sensor.

 

Below is a breakdown of the necessary requirements:

Property Type Requirements
Flat / House

Occupied by a single family only

(Pre 1992 construction)

A preferably interconnected system of long life or mains smoke alarms throughout the property.

CO Alarms present in all high-risk rooms.

Flat / House

Occupied by a single family only

(Post 1992 construction)

A preferably interconnected system of long life or mains smoke alarms throughout the property.

CO Alarms present in all high-risk rooms.

HMO (house in multiple occupation)

1 or 2 Story. Individual floor area of no more than 200sqm

An appropriate mains powered interconnected smoke alarm system.

Special HMO guides apply.

CO Alarms present in all high-risk rooms.

HMO

3 stories or higher

An appropriate fire alarm system with a central panel.

Special HMO guides apply.

CO Alarms present in all high-risk rooms.

For more information plus a wide range of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors simply visit www.electricalworld.com now!

Author: sponsoredcontent

Comments are disabled.