After a long-winded route through parliament, new regulations are now in place which affect all private landlords in the UK.
From 1st October 2015 landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Leaders’ technical and compliance director, Carole Charge, addresses some key questions relating to the new regulations:
What happens if I do not comply with the new regulations?
The regulations will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000.
Who is responsible for checking the alarms are working?
At the start of a tenancy it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure the alarms are working – alarms should be checked on the first day of the tenancy commencement. During the tenancy tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly.
Should I have a carbon monoxide alarm for gas appliances?
This is not required by the new regulations, however the Private Rented Sector Code requires all let properties with gas appliances to have a carbon monoxide alarm. As Leaders subscribes to this code of conduct, we require alarms in all our let properties which have either gas or solid fuel appliances.
Should the alarms be hard-wired or battery-powered?
The regulations do not stipulate one type or another, however if your property is a house share or house in multiple occupation (HMO) – a property in which three or more people live but do not form one household, i.e. they are not related or in a relationship – you must comply with the HMO and building regulations that apply to your property.
Should the alarms be installed in a specific place?
Apart from stipulating that there should be at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, the regulations do not specify exactly where the alarms should be placed. The alarm manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.
A storey is a part of a building comprising all the rooms that are on the same level and the regulations apply to all storeys that have at least one room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This includes bathrooms, WCs, halls, landings and stairways. A mezzanine floor would not be considered a storey.
Can heat detectors be installed in place of smoke alarms?
No, heat detectors are not a replacement for smoke alarms.
How much does it cost to install the alarms?
Prices vary however Leaders can arrange for compliant alarms and monitors to be fitted for £27.00 + VAT (£32.40) plus contrac tor costs.
For advice you can trust on all aspects of letting, renting, buying or selling contact your local Leaders branch.