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Updates to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

Since October 2015, private sector landlords have been required to comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This put an obligation on them to ensure that there is at least one smoke detector on every storey of their rental property, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance. As Agents are aware, private landlords have been required since this date to install alarms in rental properties at the start of the tenancy, and then once the tenant has moved in, it is their responsibility to check them.

These regulations have now been expanded upon, and from 1 October 2022 changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into effect. We recommend that landlords and agents take action now to ensure that they are complying with the amended regulations in advance of when they come into effect.

The government have clarified that from 1 October 2022, the regulations will not only apply to private landlords, but also to social housing. Social housing will not be addressed in detail in this blog as PainSmith only deals with private housing matters.

Both private and social sector landlords will now have a legal requirement to repair or replace faulty smoke and carbon monoxide alarms “as soon as reasonably practicable” after receiving notice from the tenant. The regulations do not appear to define this term, but we would consider this to mean at the earliest possible opportunity.

All landlords will also have an obligation from October 2022 to ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any room where there is a fixed combustion appliance. This previously covered solid fuel burning appliances, but now also applies to appliances such as gas boilers. PainSmith would also recommend that landlords install carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where there is an oil fired boiler.

In summary, amendments to the regulations include:

  • Social housing landlords will now also be obliged to install a smoke alarm on every storey of all properties where there is a room which is used either wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms will be a legal requirement in all rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers), in both private and social rented properties.
  • All landlords will be under an obligation to repair or replace any alarm which is faulty “as soon as reasonably practicable” once they have been informed.

These regulations have been expanded as a step towards ensuring safer homes in England & Wales. Falling foul of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 can lead to the landlord acquiring a fine of up to £5,000. To avoid this, we would advise landlords to install and repair smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rented properties prior to 1 October 2022, the date the regulations officially come into effect.

Published 23 June 2022

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