The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
As of the 1 October 2015, it is mandatory requirement for all properties within the private rented sector to have a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor of the property in question and a carbon monoxide alarm installed in a room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance. The requirement for a carbon monoxide alarm does not include gas or oil fired appliances, nor does it include open fireplaces. Rooms used for living accommodation are defined as rooms where the occupants spend any amount of time and include bathrooms and wc's. This means that if a floor of a property includes rooms that are used for habitable purposes, a suitable alarm will need to be installed.
The introduction of the The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, gives power to all local authorities to ensure that private rented accommodation in their district/borough is fitted with necessary alarms and the ability to take enforcement action to ensure the health and safety of tenants and provide early warning in the case of fire.
Due to the introduction of the aforementioned regulations, it will therefore be necessary to ensure a smoke alarm is fitted to a landing or hallway of each storey of your property and where appropriate, a carbon monoxide alarm in a room that contains a solid fuel burning appliance. The type of smoke alarm required is to be either a long life battery type alarm or one that is hard wired into the electrical system. It is imperative that battery alarms are ones that include a non removable long life battery preventing removal and minimising the necessity for maintenance. The same method of installation applies regarding the provision of any carbon monoxide alarm.
When Tendring District Council become involved with a property in the private rented sector, the relevant landlord in control of the property in question will initially be given a period of 7 days in which to install the necessary alarms prior to the council taking formal enforcement action to ensure compliance. Failure to comply with the initial informal request will result in formal enforcement action being taken. The council will treat breaches of the aforementioned Regulations seriously and failure to comply with formal enforcement action will lead to the relevant landlord having to pay a penalty charge and face potential legal proceedings. The council will also carry out the necessary works on the landlords behalf and look to recover the money through the normal legal channels. The council has initially set the penalty charge for non-compliance at £600.00. This figure will rise considerably when the council carries out its annual review of charges. The current level of penalty has been set at £600.00 to allow landlords to respond to the new regulations and bring any property in their portfolio up to the new standard.
If you need to contact a member of the Private Sector Housing team regarding any of the above please call 01255 686465 or use the online form.