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Landlords required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
12 March 2015
Landlords must fix working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in every home they rent out from October 10, 2015, under new rules announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.
Failing to comply with the regulations will mean sanctions and fines of up to £5,000.
This will bring private rented properties in line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.
Brandon Lewis said: “In 1988, just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%.
“The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.
“Working smoke alarms provide vital seconds needed to escape a fire. I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”
The proposed changes to the law require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor in the property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.
Rooms which are at a high risk such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed require landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms.
Grant funding from the government will also mean England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their local areas to meet their new responsibility provisions of free alarm distribution.
As part of a wider move, the Government is ensuring there are sufficient measures in place to protect the public safely, whilst at the same time avoiding regulations which would push up rent prices and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams added that people were four times more likely to die in a fire in a home without smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.
“That’s why we are proposing changes to the law that would require landlords to install working smoke alarms in their properties so tenants can give their families and those they care about a better chance of escaping a fire,” he said.
Every year, 36 people die and 1,375 are injured in fires at homes without working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, according to fire service figures.
The measure follows years of lobbying behind the scenes by Torbay MP Adrian Sanders after a fire at a private rented home in Torquay, Devon, killed two children in 2009.