New regulations for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be in full effect from the 1st of October, 2022. It’s therefore vital that all estate agents are familiar with the updated Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
The rules are now stricter surrounding carbon monoxide alarms; they must be installed in every room where there are fixed combustion appliances such as gas and oil-fired boilers, and they must work prior to the tenancy commencing. This applies to each and every home rented through private landlords and social housing providers, as well as HMOs.
Timothy Douglas, the principal of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, has identified major points of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022:
- There must be at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the house, which was always the standard practice since the late 2000s. Now, councils must meet these standards too.
- All rental properties must now have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in every tenanted room. In the late 2000s, the alarms had to be fitted in rooms with solid fuel appliances, however, rooms with gas cookers specifically, are now excluded in the new regulations. This is due to the fact that the cookers themselves lead to very few incidents regarding carbon monoxide poisoning compared to gas boilers.
Variety of Alarms
The regulations state that there is no specification regarding the type of alarm that must be installed. It’s recommended that the alarms comply with the British Standards BS 50291. Moreover, alarms with ‘sealed for life’ batteries are typically longer-lasting than those where batteries have to be replaced.
Legal Action Can be Taken
If an agent or landlord is not considered to have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the notice, the local authority can impose a fine of up to £5,000 per breach. There will be the right to appeal any fines to the First-tier Tribunal.
As laid out in the 2015 regulations there are exemptions for shared accommodation with the landlord or landlord’s family; long leases; student halls of residence; hostels and refuges; care homes; hospitals and hospices; other accommodation relating to healthcare provision.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 and guidance notes can be found if you click here.