Landlords: smoke and carbon monoxide requirements
What are the requirements?
Whenever a room is used partially or entirely for living accommodation, and contains any appliance capable of burning solid fuel, landlords must ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm installed.
Even if not regularly used, log and coal stoves and open fires are included, but gas and oil boilers are not. Regulations do not apply to open fireplaces that are purely decorative or blocked off.
It will be mandatory from 1 October 2022 for all properties to have a CO detector installed in every room with a fuel-burning appliance, including gas and oil appliances.
Gas cookers are the only exception to this rule. Gas cookers are not specifically defined in the legislation, but government guidelines (https://www.gov.uk) state they are any apparatus heated by gas and used to cook food.
It is recommended that landlords follow the instructions provided by the alarm manufacturer. For carbon monoxide alarms, this will be at head height between 1-3 meters away from the solid fuel-burning source and for the smoke alarms, it will be in a central circulation area.
When a new tenancy begins, the landlord must ensure smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. See our article on Fire Alarms for more detail on this https://lofti.co/fire-safety-for-landlords/
Responsibilities for Landlords
After 1 October 2022, if a landlord receives a complaint from a tenant about a defective smoke or CO alarm, he or she has a duty to investigate and repair or replace the device.
Tenant alarms must only be functional at the beginning of a tenancy under current requirements.
In fact, the government guidance does recommend that tenants check their alarms at least once a month. There is no reason why the tenant cannot be responsible for ensuring the alarms are working. The landlord must, however, ensure that the tenant actually performs the checks. In the event that a landlord is challenged, he or she may have to show that a proper system has been put in place to ensure that alarms are regularly checked.
An immediate landlord of a tenant must comply with the requirements. The law also applies to tenancies granted through subletting. Moreover, since these alarms are now mandatory licensing conditions, the licence holder is responsible for ensuring that these alarms are installed in the property and are in working order at the beginning of the tenancy if the property requires a mandatory, additional or selective licence.
Potential fees for Landlords
Local authorities may impose a penalty charge of up to £5,000 on landlords who violate the rules. A penalty charge notice must be served within six weeks from the date the institution first became aware that a violation had occurred if it intends to impose a charge. Local authorities may reduce the penalty charge for prompt payment if representations against the penalty notice are made.
Please note, that Lofti property management software recommends you take precautions with this issue and recommend the above as compliance methods. Further action can be taken to ensure that fire safety standards are met. We recommend conducting further research on top of this article to cover more angles.