Are You Ready for the New Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations?
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 come into effect on 1 October 2022 with no transitional arrangements. The potential fine for non-compliance can be up to £5,000, levied against each breach rather than against the property or landlord, so this is one piece of legislation private landlords cannot afford to ignore. Learn more about the changes here.
What Are The New Regulations?
This amendment updates the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 that came into force on 1 October 2015. In the original and current legislation, landlords must have one smoke alarm fitted per storey and a carbon monoxide alarm where there is a solid fuel appliance, such as an open fire.
As of 1 October 2022, this will change. The amendments are as follows:
- Ensure at least one smoke alarm is installed on each storey of a landlord’s property where a room is used as living accommodation (a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015).
- Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room used as living accommodation and which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
- Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and discovered to be faulty.
– Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022: Guidance for Landlords and Tenants (Updated 29 July 2022)
Don’t See The Difference?
The changes are subtle. One is in the mandatory installation of a carbon monoxide alarm which – take careful note – needs to be “in any room used as living accommodation” and with a “fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers)”. This means any room that has either gas and/or oil-fired boilers will now need a carbon monoxide alarm.
Another change is the expectation of repair or replacement. The testing is carried out by the tenant, but if the device proves faulty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to repair or replace it.
What Is A ‘Living Accommodation’?
The guidance is very clear: “In general, a room is classed as ‘living accommodation’ if it is used for the primary purposes of living or is a room in which a person spends a significant amount of time.”
What Is A ‘Fixed Combustion Appliance’?
This term now includes boilers but does not include gas ovens.
What Type of Alarm Will Need To Be Installed?
There is no prescriptive guidance in the regulations of the type of alarm that must be installed or whether it needs to be hard-wired into the building. Smoke alarms should, however, comply with British Standards BS 5839-6, while carbon monoxide alarms should comply with British Standards BS 50291. Practically speaking, we found this stipulation almost impossible to discover, as product leaflets often do not specify them. To be 100% sure, it is best to email the manufacturer directly before purchasing.
What Should I Do Now?
If your property is professionally managed, compliance with the new amendments should already be in the works, but for peace of mind, you should check with your property manager.
If you are managing the property yourself, become familiar with the guidance, as it has some very useful FAQs. Make sure you implement the amendments by 1 October as they apply to both new and existing tenancies.
Enforcement of the regulations remains with the Local Authority who can serve a remedial notice and, if that notice is not complied with, can levy a penalty of up to £5,000.
No time to check? Not sure what to do? We are professional property managers, ready to help you. Call us on 02035885115 to discuss your requirements today.
Disclaimer: Marybow Property takes all reasonable care to ensure that the information contained on this website is accurate. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the content. Our website, including the blogs, is not legal or financial advice and should not be construed as such. We reserve the right to change the information on this website at any time.