Private sector landlords will be required from 1 October 2015 to ensure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on every storey of their rented property and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. They also require landlords to ensure that such alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy.
The requirement will be enforced by Amber Valley Borough Council. Interested parties wanting to know the detail should read The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 which can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2015/1693
Amber Valley Borough Council works closely with the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service www.derbys-fire.gov.uk on the identification of vulnerable people and offers home safety checks. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service may be able to provide free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors but this cannot be guaranteed.
Amber Valley Borough Council is required to issue a remedial notice where they have reasonable grounds to believe a landlord has not complied with one or more of the requirements. The landlord must comply with the notice within 28 days. If they do not, Amber Valley Borough Council must carry out the remedial action (where the occupier consents) to ensure the requirements in the regulations are met and can issue a civil penalty of up to £5,000.
Amber Valley Borough Council has consulted on the policy and it has been agreed that for a first offence the penalty will be £2500 and for second and subsequent offences the penalty shall be £5,000. The policy can be read here.
Separate general guidance for landlords on the requirement of the regulations is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords.
Landlords need to be aware that this legislation does not replace requirements under the Housing Act 2004 and there will many instances where a battery operated smoke detection is only suitable as a temporary measure. Whilst fire and smoke detection are important ensuring a safe means of escape is also really important. It is really important that landlords risk assess their property and also take a view on the likelihood of the tenant interfering with the alarm. If in doubt fit a hardwired system.
To support the enforcement the Government has provided the following booklet: