From the 1st October 2015, regulations require both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation. The Regulations apply both to houses and flats. Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000. Check the new legislation here.
Nicole Ciantar, is a property investor and agent, and owner of Voguere. Having been a licensed agent for almost 20 years, she offers the following advice on the new regulations for landlords: “when it comes to alarms, the tenants of the property don’t need to do anything. The landlord must have them checked each year, either by themselves or by a third party.
“I have many landlords and i have them all ensure that their properties are covered in the event we have a fire. As an agent, the risks are so great that if my owners will not comply with this, then I won’t take them on as a client.”
Jordan Korfiatis, Assistant Property Manager at rRent Property Management. When asked about how they ensure their landlords are compliant, he says: “We have a dedicated serviceman who goes to properties annually to replace the batteries on smoke alarms and check that they are functioning properly. As part of our bi-annual general inspection of the property, we also give tenants a form to complete that ask whether they have checked their smoke alarms and if they are working. This is part of the service we provide to landlords if they choose to use it, otherwise the landlords must sign a waiver saying it is their own responsibility to maintain smoke alarms. 99% of landlords let us look after it for them.”
Jo Yates, Owner at Home Design Sydney, adds: “I pay my property manager to manage all aspects of the houses I own. They have set me up on a yearly inspection programme for fire alarms, which means that they go out and inspect the fire alarms and replace them if necessary.
“If the property manager hadn’t recommended I do this, I would never have thought about it once I installed the alarms. I think a good property manager will recommend a programme like this to protect the landlord, the tenants and themselves.”
During any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 while the premises are occupied under a tenancy (or licence) the landlord must ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. This means that a smoke alarm must be provided in working order on each storey. As regards individual flats located on one floor then there will have to be at least one alarm within the flat itself or alternatively are provided outside the flat on the same floor of the building, i.e. a communal alarm.
During any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 when the premises are occupied under a tenancy or a licence a carbon monoxide alarm must be provided by the landlord in any room in premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. This applies to any kind of wood burning stove or an open coal fire. It will also extend to equipment such as a solid fuel Aga in the kitchen. This is already a requirement with new installations of solid fuel burning combustion appliances. This is now extended to any existing appliances already in place before Building Regulations imposed this requirement.
WHICH TYPE OF ALARM IS REQUIRED
The Regulations do not stipulate what kind of alarm is required. Ideally it should be a hard wired alarm system. It can, however, be a single stand alone alarm. Landlords are recommended by the to fit ten year long life non-tamper proof alarms, otherwise there is a problem of batteries being taken out and not being replaced.
WE FIT ALARMS
We fit carbon monoxide alarms in compliance with building regulations, just tell us when booking an appointment.