The government has announced new Regulations requiring private landlords in England to install and check smoke alarms and, in some instances, carbon monoxide alarms in their properties from 1st October 2015.

With occupants at least four times more likely to die in a fire in a home where there is no working smoke alarm, the measures aim to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.

The new regulations apply to privately rented premises occupied on or after 1st October, excluding licensed HMOs, social housing and other residential buildings already covered by existing regulations. Properties, where accommodation is shared with the landlord, may also be excluded.

Once implemented, the Regulations will require a smoke alarm on every floor where there is accommodation and also a CO alarm in any habitable rooms with a solid fuel appliance. Local authorities have a duty to serve notice on the landlord if there is a breach of the Regulations and can execute the remedial action if necessary and make a penalty charge up to £5,000.

The landlord, managing agent or another representative must also check that alarms work at the start of each tenancy – although regular testing will be the tenant’s responsibility – and replace any that do not. With this in mind, the latest generation of 10-year guarantee alarms can help landlords meet their obligations over the longer term, cost-effectively.

If you require further information please contact Paul Barnes MARLA for more information.