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Ian999
21-12-2006, 14:22 PM
Can anyone advise me whether the landlord has to provide a smoke alarm for the rented property? Also, if they supply a battery powered one, whose responsibility is it to change the battery.

Thanks:)

mk85
21-12-2006, 14:28 PM
Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.

Ian999
21-12-2006, 14:43 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. Do you know how many has to be installed, i.e. is it just one for downstairs and one for upstairs? Also, do they need to supply fire blankets for the kitchen, and any other fire saftey things?

Thanks

jeffrey
21-12-2006, 14:43 PM
Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.
Yes, and also see the new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006.

Beeber
21-12-2006, 14:45 PM
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/fire_safety.htm

Shelter indicates that it could come under the tenant's responsibility for minor maintenance, such as changing a light bulb

http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-3182.cfm

Beeber
21-12-2006, 14:47 PM
According to the landlordzone info,

"There is no compulsory requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in normal tenanted properties, but again, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area.

Having made the decision to provide fire extinguishers though, the landlord or agent should then arrange for a 12 monthly service."

Is this information out of date, then? And I take it that there are more stringent regulations for properties that require a HMO licence?

mk85
21-12-2006, 14:49 PM
If its a HMO then you also need to supply fire blankets and CO2 Fire Extinguishers, under the New HMO licensing laws. Although i'm not sure about houses rented to single households.

P.Pilcher
21-12-2006, 15:49 PM
One of my properties has two bedrooms and is ocupied by two ladies who are not related as joint tenants. With regard to the new HMO legislation, I contacted the environmental health department of the appropriate L.A. I was advised that this property, on their rules constituted a HMO but I was not (thank heavens) expected to be licenced. Their requiremnts boiled down to providing a fire blanket in the kitchen.

P.P.

Paul_f
21-12-2006, 16:32 PM
Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!

Ericthelobster
21-12-2006, 18:13 PM
UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!Just what I was thinking! Does mk85 really go round to see his tenant(s) every week in order to check their alarm?!

Personally, I get my tenants to sign the following release form at the start of a tenancy:


This property has been provided with a smoke alarm/s. At the commencement of this tenancy the smoke alarm/s have been fitted with new batteries and tested for correct operation.
Please be aware that the tenancy agreement requires that you as tenant/s ensure that the smoke alarm/s are operable at all times, to test for correct operation of the smoke alarm/s on a regular basis (suggest weekly) and to replace the batteries with new ones as and when required. In the event of a fault developing with a smoke alarm (ie it fails routine testing even with new battery) the landlord must be notified immediately.

.................................................. .................................................. .................................

I/we hereby confirm that the smoke alarm/s have been tested in our presence on entry to this tenancy and are in full working order. I/we fully accept our responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the smoke alarm/s throughout the term of our occupancy and hereby absolve the landlord and/or the managing agent from responsibility should I/we fail to comply.

Tenant signatures:

.................................................. .....



Date: ...............................................

And finally, I'm pretty sure that there is no regulation which states that a landlord has to provide smoke or fire alarms in a (non-HMO) tenanted house, unless it's been built recently or been refurbished to current building regs. I'll accept I could be wrong on that count (and personally I wouldn't dream of letting a house without smoke alarms.

red40
21-12-2006, 18:41 PM
If its a HMO then you also need to supply fire blankets and CO2 Fire Extinguishers, under the New HMO licensing laws. Although i'm not sure about houses rented to single households.

It doesn't just apply to licensable HMO's, it also applies to other HMO's.

choices
21-12-2006, 22:23 PM
all rented properties have to have smoke alarm, the tenant is expected to check it frequently. Surely this is just common sense? If an alarm has been provided, the tenant has a right to privacy in the property, so should therefore take resposiblity and check it themselves. There should be an alarm on each floor, also there really should be a c02 alarm fitted as well as standard.

Ericthelobster
22-12-2006, 07:36 AM
all rented properties have to have smoke alarm, the tenant is expected to check it frequently. Surely this is just common sense? If an alarm has been provided, the tenant has a right to privacy in the property, so should therefore take resposiblity and check it themselves. There should be an alarm on each floor, also there really should be a c02 alarm fitted as well as standard.But unfortunately the law doesn't have much to do with common sense. The law, as has been said many times, is an ass.

If the LL has a smoke alarm fitted, and for whatever reason it fails to go off in a fire (even if the tenant's removed the battery), and the tenant gets fried having left his cigarette on the sofa, then the LL is potentially liable in the courts for failing to maintain the alarm.

If the LL didn't have a smoke alarm fitted at all, then he wouldn't be liable at all. (again, as far as I am aware).

Hence the reason for my arse-covering "release form" (as reccomended by the Residential Landlord's Association).

And PS - a CO2 alarm would go off every time a tenant has the temerity to exhale in the flat (so far no LLs I've heard of consider that to be a breach of tenancy conditions. ;-) Think you mean a CO alarm (and the same applies to that as smoke alarms)

mk85
22-12-2006, 08:18 AM
UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!

FACT 1: ITS THE LAW FOR THE LANDLORD TO PROVIDE WORKING FIRE ALARMS.

FACT 2: IT IS RECOMMENDED BY MOST FIRE BRIGADES TO TEST YOUR BATTERY POWERED FIRE ALARMS ONCE A WEEK.

and Ericthelobster, I dont go specifically to test the alarms but as i go to the houses to collect the rent weekly it only takes 30 seconds to push a test button to see if its working or not.

...just another general comment!!!

jeffrey
22-12-2006, 08:22 AM
But unfortunately the law doesn't have much to do with common sense. The law, as has been said many times, is an ass.

If the LL has a smoke alarm fitted, and for whatever reason it fails to go off in a fire (even if the tenant's removed the battery), and the tenant gets fried having left his cigarette on the sofa, then the LL is potentially liable in the courts for failing to maintain the alarm.

If the LL didn't have a smoke alarm fitted at all, then he wouldn't be liable at all. (again, as far as I am aware).

Hence the reason for my arse-covering "release form" (as reccomended by the Residential Landlord's Association).

And PS - a CO2 alarm would go off every time a tenant has the temerity to exhale in the flat (so far no LLs I've heard of consider that to be a breach of tenancy conditions. ;-) Think you mean a CO alarm (and the same applies to that as smoke alarms)


No; it's not the Law that's an ass but our fellow human beings- including at least some asinines who post here.

red40
22-12-2006, 08:24 AM
FACT 1: ITS THE LAW FOR THE LANDLORD TO PROVIDE WORKING FIRE ALARMS.


Could you enlighten us to which legislation it says this please :confused:

I totally agree with you on fact 2, as does just about every other poster on this thread

Gel
22-12-2006, 08:29 AM
Firstly there is the Duty Of Care obligation; if there was a fire and subsequent court case eg Coroners Inquest at worst, or claim for damages you would be hard pressed to mount a defence if you fitted nothing.
You are after all, well aware smoke alarms exist.

In England & Wales Landlords now have to comply with the HHSRS, and though interpretation will vary from Council to Council, suggest you bone up on that.
Scroll down to bottom right of this page
www.smoke-alarms.co.uk

Most Councils/Hsg Assn's have moved to hard wired alarms, as battery ones are too easily disabled/removed.

red40
22-12-2006, 08:43 AM
Firstly there is the Duty Of Care obligation; if there was a fire and subsequent court case eg Coroners Inquest at worst, or claim for damages you would be hard pressed to mount a defence if you fitted nothing.
You are after all, well aware smoke alarms exist.

In England & Wales Landlords now have to comply with the HHSRS, and though interpretation will vary from Council to Council, suggest you bone up on that.
Scroll down to bottom right of this page
www.smoke-alarms.co.uk

Most Councils/Hsg Assn's have moved to hard wired alarms, as battery ones are too easily disabled/removed.

But I am asking where in LAW it says you HAVE to FIT smoke detectors, not where it says 'risk assess or duty of care or recommendation or guidnace, but 'it is the LAW'.

mk85
22-12-2006, 08:48 AM
"HMO landlords have to ensure there are adequate fire precautions (including alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets) and fire escape routes."

Brought in with the Housing ACT 2004.

http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-4052.cfm#wipLive-12917-2

Poppy
22-12-2006, 09:10 AM
To Ian999. I am replying on the fact that your original post did not indicate that you were talking about HMOs.

For ordinary, single household, rented property there is no law stating that a smoke alarm must be fitted by the landlord.

Suggest that you conduct further research. Make sure you do not confuse "recommendations" with "lawful requirements" (in the same way that gas appliances must be annually certified by law).

jeffrey
22-12-2006, 10:08 AM
My home smoke alarm was much simpler and involved no hassle at all. Tesco sells the unit which looks like a ligh-bulb holder and fits into a ceiling rose between a light bulb and the actual holder.

When the lightbulb is ON, the smoke alarm's internal battery stores a charge which lasts for several days- so no flat battery syndrome. Testing is by switching lightbulb on and off in quick succession- alarm chirps a couple of times, to let you know that it's alive and well.

Gel
22-12-2006, 10:38 AM
If you choose not to fit smoke alarms ensure you have deep pockets; damages awarded in event of an event will be substantial & we all know how many lawyers there are chasing on a no win/no fee basis.

A number of Councils & Hsg Assn's have been prosecuted by the HSE for Gas Safety Reg breaches, but the fines were small (£50k ish on average) compared to damages awarded following tenant claims (ie 6 figures).

Future insurance premiums would likely ratchet up too.
Note the plug in alarms mentioned are not accepted under the Building Regs, which although limited to new build & loft conversions,
are something to be viewed as a template.
ie many Social Housing Landlords follow on existing properties when they are rewiring etc.

The main source of domestic fires is the kitchen, which is why the 2000 Bldg Regs (Eng & Wales) called for Heat Alarms in such location interconnected to the other smoke alarms.
Smokes are n o good in kitchens because of the steam/invisible cooking particles.