Under new measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis on 11th March 2015 landlords will be required, by law, to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all of their rental properties, subject to Parliamentary approval, on 10 October 2015.
- Smoke alarms installed on every floor of the rental property.
- Alarms tested at the start of every tenancy.
- Carbon monoxide alarms in all high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
Landlords who fail to follow these requirements would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.
These new requirements would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.
It is also in line with other measures the government has taken to improve standards in the private rented sector, without wrapping the industry up in red tape.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:
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.
But with working smoke alarms providing the 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.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
We’re determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector – a key part of that is to ensure the safety of tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning.
People are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.
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.
Linda Cobb; DASH Landlord Accreditation Manager said:
This new legislation is unlikely to directly affect landlords accredited through DASH as they already follow best practice by installing fire safety measures in their rental properties and offer tenants a well-managed property they can call ‘home’.
For more information on fire safety visit the resources section on the DASH website - http://www.dashservices.org.uk/Resources
Further Update - (19 March 2015):
Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt today announced a £3 million boost to support the delivery of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to privately-rented homes across the country.
The funding will provide around 445,000 smoke and 40,000 carbon monoxide alarms which will be free from fire and rescue authorities to private sector landlords whose properties currently do not have alarms.
All 46 fire and rescue authorities in England will receive alarms to distribute according to the number of privately rented properties in their area .... Read more of this article ....