From 1st October, a new law requires private landlords to fit properties with smoke alarms.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires a fire alarm to be fitted on each floor of a property which contains a room wholly or partly used as living accommodation. A carbon monoxide alarm must be also be fitted in rooms containing a coal fire or other solid fuel burning appliance, where the room is partly or wholly used as living accommodation.
The responsibility falls on the landlord of the property to ensure the fire alarms are in place, whether it is a house in multiple occupation (HIMO) or merely a one room let. They can be mains or battery powered, and tenants should regularly check they are working. If you are a landlord, you should remind tenants to check battery powered alarms and to report any battery weakness. As a landlord or manager of a HIMO, you should regularly check the appliances are in operation and we would advise you maintain a log of these checks.
Anyone infringing this law could face a fine of up to £5,000. Any failure to comply with the management regulations for Houses in Multiple Occupation can face greater fines and penalties.
This new law has been welcomed by the fire service, who anticipate that these preventative measures could save up to 200 lives over 10 years.
If you require any advice in respect of the measures you must have in place, please contact a member of our Regulatory team: