Social and private landlords are to face tougher new rules which make it mandatory to fit smoke alarms in all rented accommodation regardless of tenure, and widen the conditions under which they must be fitted.
Revisions to the smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulations also require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any rented home.
All landlords – in both private and social sectors – also now have to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once told they are faulty.
Timothy Douglas (pictured), policy manager at Propertymark, believes the change is both welcome and necessary to improve tenant safety.
“Private landlords have been required since 2015 to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where applicable in rented property, and the extension of the regulations to encompass gas boilers is a sensible amendment,” he says.
“Propertymark has long called for tenants to receive the same level of protection, irrespective of tenure, and these changes go some way to rectifying that.”
However, Douglas adds that in order for landlords to be able to make necessary checks, they need to be given flexibility and greater clarity.
“The current requirement for alarms to be tested on the first day of a tenancy is impractical for many agents and landlords, and more workable measures are needed.”
Eddie Hughes MP (pictured), Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, says about 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires.
“I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms.” Says Hughes:
“Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”
The government has promised to update guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards.