As of April 2015, there are no legal obligations for landlords to provide smoke alarms in single occupancy rented properties however it is a requirement for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) to have a smoke alarm, as these are considered to be at a greater fire risk. This is now set to change as the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has recently announced a new law that will come into force this year. From October 2015, the Government will make it mandatory for all rental properties to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Government figures suggest that the law could result in up to 36 fewer fatalities and 1,529 fewer injuries over a 10 year period.
Once the new law comes in to force, it will be mandatory for all rented properties (including single occupancy) to have smoke alarms fitted on every floor of a rental property and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms that present a high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as those containing solid fuel heating systems, e.g. wood, coal fires, gas boilers, etc.
Landlords who do not meet the minimum requirements and fail to comply with a remedial notice within 28 days will face fines of up to £5,000.
The government will be providing funding of £3 million for 445,000 smoke alarms and 40,000 carbon monoxide alarms to assist with the implementation of these new rules. Each of England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities will be responsible for distributing the free alarms to private landlords.
Avon Fire & Rescue has recently published an article “AF&RS welcomes smoke alarm legislation” where you can find more information and contact details to discuss the funding of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms for your rental property.
What Edison Ford are doing about the changes
Edison Ford will be proactive with the new law and a letter will be going out to all tenants in the next few weeks. Enclosed with this letter will be a form for them to complete regarding smoke alarms or lack of them within the property. From this information, our Lettings team will organise inspections on those properties which may not be meeting the minimum requirements.
On instruction of new rental properties, whether introduction or management, we will advise on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as we already do with gas safety certificates and PAT testing.
Have any questions?
We are here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in contact with our office on 01454 316718 and speak with either Jackie or Steve to discuss the changes.