Despite the law change coming into effect on 01 October 2015 it is still surprising how many landlord’s do not know about the regulations regarding smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors within their rented property; especially as non-compliance could cost them up to £5,000!
In a rented property a landlord must ensure that there is a smoke alarm fitted for each storey of the property; smoke alarms fitted in stairwells do not count towards the total. There is no specified area in which to fit them, but they should be fitted in areas with “circulation space” such as a hall or landing.
Additionally, the landlord must make sure that the smoke alarms work at the beginning of any tenancy, we recommend that the landlord or their agent attend the property on the first day of rental to demonstrate this to the tenants and for them to sign to confirm they work; thereafter replacement of batteries are the responsibility of the tenants until they move out.
Carbon monoxide detectors must also be fitted in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance such as a coal fire or wood burning stove. There is no requirement to fit one near gas appliances such as boilers, but we would encourage any landlord to fit one in any event for safety and to help protect their investment.
If a fireplace is purely decorative and cannot be used, then a carbon monoxide detector is not required; the rules are not that strict!
As with smoke alarms, the landlord must make sure that the carbon monoxide alarms work at the beginning of any tenancy. Once again, we recommend that the landlord or their agent attend the property on the first day of rental to show this to the tenants and for them to sign to confirm they work; again, replacement of batteries is the responsibility of the tenants until they move out.
If you own a rented property and you are not compliant with these regulations, we suggest that you immediately make arrangements with the tenants to attend the property and to fit the necessary alarms; there is no grace period for fitting these alarms!