Smoke and carbon monoxide changes - what do landlords need to know?

Smoke and carbon monoxide changes – what do landlords need to know?

To ensure landlords are keeping their tenants safe, smoke and carbon monoxide rules must be complied with at all times.

A crucial deadline is fast approaching. As a consequence, landlords must prepare in good time to keep their tenants out of danger. And avoid a potential £5,000 fine for non-compliance.

These alarms are a vital precautionary measure that can save people from exposure to smoke and fire.

Here, we take a closer look at what is changing.

The changes coming into action

Under the new legislation changes, landlords must:

  1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This is a legal requirement in the PRS since 2015.
  2. Make sure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
  3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.

These changes will alter the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. Also, they become compulsory starting October 1 2022.

On top of that, the alarms must comply with British Standards BS 5839-6 for smoke alarms. And British Standards BS 50291 for carbon monoxide alarms. 

At the start of the tenancy, the alarm must be tested. A record must be kept to prove the device is in working condition. Instances where the tenant claims the smoke alarm is not working must be dealt with right away and be fixed or replaced.

If the alarm is not replaced within 21 days, the local authority could issue a remedial notice to enforce the replacement or repair.

Likewise, for social housing tenants, a smoke alarm will need to be installed on each storey of a domestic property with living accommodation.

The importance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence reports that In England and Wales, approximately 40 deaths and 200 non-fatal poisonings are reported each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Rules surrounding alarms are an integral part of the property industry insofar as they can prevent these casualties from happening. 

As a colourless gas that does not have a scent, it is impossible to tell when it is being produced. For this reason, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are relied on to detect the gas and prevent tenants from becoming ill or in more severe cases, death.

All landlords are therefore encouraged to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly on a regular basis. Or to get their letting agent to do this on their behalf.

You can find out more here about the guidance for tenants and landlords.

In the lettings sector, changes to legislation are common and can be easy to miss without help and guidance along the way. It is vital that you work with an experienced, well-respected letting agent to ensure that upcoming changes do not get overlooked.

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Smoke and carbon monoxide changes - what do landlords need to know?
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Smoke and carbon monoxide changes - what do landlords need to know?
Atkinson McLeod explores everything landlords need to know about the smoke and carbon monoxide changes from next month.
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