The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
The Housing Minister Brandon Lewis first introduced the Regulations in draft in March 15, where landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.
The new measures came in to force on 1st October 2015 following requirements for all landlords:
- A smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation:
- A carbon monoxide detector is equipped in any room of the premises where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance:
- Checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order, on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.
There are exemptions and these include shared accommodation with the landlord, long leases, student halls of residence, hostels, refuges, care homes, hospitals, hospices and accommodation relating to healthcare provision.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said ‘we're determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector. That means ensuring the safety of tenants with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Fire kills and people are 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there's no working smoke alarms.
These changes will help save lives by ensuring all landlords install alarms in their properties, giving tenants the vital seconds they need to escape.'
It is estimated that the regulations could help prevent more than 25 deaths and nearly 700 injuries a year.
Where Wychavon District Council has reasonable ground to believe that:
- There are no, or insufficient number of smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors in the property as required by the regulations or;
- The smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors were not working at the start of the tenancy or licence.
Wychavon District Council will serve a remedial notice detailing the actions the landlord must take to comply. If after 28 days the landlord has still not complied with the remedial notice, the Council will then serve a penalty charge notice, with the maximum penalty charge of £5,000. Any outstanding works will also be carried out.
Statement of Principles
When determining the amount of the penalty charge Wychavon District Council must follow its statement of principles.
The landlord can request in writing no later than 28 days from service that the remedial notice or penalty charge notice to be reviewed by the Local Housing Authority, who must consider the representation. A landlord may appeal the notice to confirm or vary the penalty charge notice to the first tier tribunal.
Guidance and Advice Document
Press Release - Landlords urged to urged to fit smoke alarms ahead of new regulations Sept 2015
HWFR - Private Landlords face major new law change
What to do Next?
Application for Units
Hereford and Worcester Fire Service were given fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to assist landlords complying with the Regulations. There are a limited number of units but landlords or tenants can contact the Fire Service by completing the property details form on their website:
Alternatively Landlords can ring 0800 032 1155 and leave an e-mail address. A Landlord's Property Details form will be sent to them. This form will need to be completed and sent back to Fire Service Headquarters, 2 Kings Court, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester, WR5 1JR - or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These units will still require installation by the applicant.
Reporting your Landlord
Where your landlord has been unwilling to install the required smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors or has checked that the units worked at the start of every new tenancy from 1st October 2015. Please read the guidance and advice document. Any non compliance please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on email@example.com or by contacting us on 01386 565631.