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Lettings Legislation Update

Published: 29/11/2021 By Dougal Trentham (Head of Residential Agency)

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This week the government announced that following parliamentary approval both social and private rented sector (PRS) landlords will be legally required to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they have been informed that they are faulty, although testing throughout the duration of a tenancy will remain the resident's responsibility.

Private landlords have been required since 2015 to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where applicable in rented property, and the extension of the regulations to encompass gas boilers is a sensible amendment.

All landlords will also now be obliged to ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room of their homes where there is a fixed combustion appliance (including a gas boiler). Where a new fixed combustion appliance is installed a carbon monoxide alarm will be required to be installed by law. Gas cooker appliances are excluded from the new rules.

The key changes are:
· carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented homes.
· carbon monoxide alarms will also be mandatory upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations
· landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty
The UK Government will also amend the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure that alarms meet relevant standards.

As soon as parliamentary time allows, the UK Government will amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
What action will we be taking on your behalf:

Although we do not know the date yet for this legislation to be implemented, we will be carrying out a full audit of our managed properties to ensure that properties with gas appliances have carbon monoxide detectors in those rooms.

In 2015 we ensured that properties with open fires or solid fuel heaters had carbon monoxide detectors and most of those detectors had seven year life spans, therefore they will be starting to come to the end of their useful life. Where this is the case we will be arranging for new ones to be fitted.

In most properties with gas appliances, carbon monoxide detectors have been fitted already and are noted on the gas safety certificate but again we will be carrying out a full audit of our records to ensure compliance and if carbon monoxide detectors are required we will organise for them to be fitted.

The carbon monoxide detectors cost in the region of £25 and generally come with a 7 or 10 year life span, they have in built batteries which cannot be removed.
The revisions to the smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulations are both welcome and necessary to improve tenant safety. Unless we hear to the contrary, we will be arranging for the carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted to ensure that you are compliant with the legislation when it is implemented.

CONTACT Saffron Reilly-Stitt on 01747 860372 or Becky on 01722 424535 to find out how we can help you.