New smoke and carbon monoxide alarm rules for landlords now in force
The Government has introduced new regulations on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the social rented sector, and new regulations on carbon monoxide alarms in the private rented sector.
The regulations apply both to houses and flats and also to HMOs. Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000.
As of 1 October 2022, landlords in England need to:
- Ensure at least one smoke alarm is installed on each storey where there's a room used as living accommodation - already a legal requirement in the private sector, but now extended to the social housing sector too
- Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room classed as "living accommodation" with a fixed combustion appliance, this includes gas boilers, wooden stoves, open fires, but excludes gas cookers
- Repair or replace any faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarms if a tenant informs the landlord or agent that there's an issue
Government guidance doesn’t state where alarms should be installed. However, it outlines that, "in general", smoke alarms should be "fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space", such as halls or landings, whilst it advises carbon monoxide alarms should be "positioned at head height, either on a wall or shelf, approximately 1-3 metres away from a potential source of carbon monoxide".
Smoke alarms should comply with British Standards BS 5839-6, while carbon monoxide alarms should comply with British Standards BS 50291.
The regulations require checks to be made by the landlord or agent to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day any new tenancy begins.
If we fully manage your property, we will already have this in hand for you. If you’re a landlord looking for advice, please get in touch with your local branch who will be happy to help.
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