Landlords: Are you aware of the new rules effective from 1st October?

From 1st October 2015 landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.

Smoke Alarm Regulations

The regulations will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 for non compliance.

At the start of a tenancy it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure the alarms are working – alarms should be checked on the first day of the tenancy commencement. During the tenancy tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly.

Carbon monoxide alarms for gas appliances are not required by the new regulations, however, the PRS Code of Conduct require all let properties with gas appliances to have a carbon monoxide alarm. As Ryder & Dutton subscribes to this code of conduct, we require alarms in all our let properties which have either gas or solid fuel appliances.

The regulations do not stipulate if the alarms should be hard wired or battery powered, however  if your property is a house share or house in multiple occupation (HMO) – a property in which three or more people live but do not form one household, i.e. they are not related or in a relationship – you must comply with the HMO and building regulations that apply to your property. Ryder & Dutton recommend the fitting of sealed unit alarms with a 10 year life to avoid problems with battery changes.

Apart from stipulating that there should be at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, the regulations do not specify exactly where the alarms should be placed. The alarm manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.

A storey is a part of a building comprising all the rooms that are on the same level and the regulations apply to all storeys that have at least one room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This includes bathrooms, WCs, halls, landings and stairways. A mezzanine floor would not be considered a storey.

Heat detectors cannot be installed as  a replacement for smoke alarms.

Prices for alarms vary considerably but Ryder & Dutton can arrange for supply and fitting of all types of alarm at reasonable cost. For any other advice on this or other aspects of letting or indeed buying or selling please contact us on 0161 925 3255.

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