Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations

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5 Oct 2015

New smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations

Author: Michael Cook

Avoid a £5,000 fine by staying up to date with new smoke alarm regulations

House to letAs of 1st October 2015, the new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations were put in place and failure to comply can result in a £5,000 fine.

The requirements, in brief, are:

  • A smoke alarm must be fitted in each storey of the property
  • Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in any room with a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • Alarms must be checked and “in proper working order” on first day of tenancy
  • A record of the check must be made on the commencement of the tenancy

There have been concerns over the rapid implementation of the legislation, and David Cox, Managing Director of Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), says: “It is simply impracticable for letting agents, who may manage a huge amount of properties, to gain access to the properties and to install these alarms on behalf of their clients in the time frame allotted.”

However, now the regulations have been approved, there is no grace period after 1st October and the alarms must have been installed.

Michael Cook, Assistant Managing Director of Lettings, comments on the new regulations: “It is the tenant’s responsibility to test all of the alarms and ensure they are in working order after the landlord’s first check on the first day of tenancy, and we are recommending that landlords advise tenants to test their smoke alarms regularly, preferably on a monthly basis.”

The Residential Landlord’s Association (RLA) has produced a handy booklet about the changes which you can access here.  

1st October also saw changes to the Section 21 notice, meaning a landlord will no longer be able to serve a Section 21 notice within the first four months of the contractual term of the tenancy. This is to stop landlords and their agents serving notice at the commencement of a tenancy with a view to being able to terminate it at their convenience.

Further changes mean that landlords may not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice if they are in breach of legislation relating to the condition of the property, health and safety of occupiers and energy performance certificates.

Learn more about the Section 21 notice

To discuss any of these legislation changes in more detail contact your Property Manager or the team of experienced letting agents at your local Romans branch.

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