Many of our Landlords are still unsure about the rules around smoke and carbon monoxide alarms - for the record here’s the official Peach guideline:
What you are required to do by law: On 1 October 2015, the law changed regarding smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. From this date, Landlords in England are required to fit smoke detectors (alarms) on each storey of a rental property. CO detectors are also required in rooms where solid fuel appliances (e.g. those containing an open fire or log-burning stove) are installed.
Testing on the First Day of the Tenancy: The Landlord (or someone acting on their behalf, like the Letting Agent) must test the alarms on the first day of a new tenancy, ideally with the tenant/s present. Thereafter, Tenants should be advised to take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order; testing monthly is generally considered an appropriate frequency. It is wise to check they are doing this when you, or your Lettings Agent, conduct the periodic property visits.
Documentary evidence: Landlords and/or their Letting Agent should ensure that they have documentary evidence that the alarms are tested and in working order on the first day of a tenancy, for example, by the tenant signing a copy of an inventory. Failure to comply with these regulations would mean the local housing authority can levy a civil penalty charge of up to £5,000 on the Landlord. If you are using a Letting Agent it may be worth checking they are doing this on your behalf!
On-going safety checks: Landlords or their Letting Agent are encouraged to ensure tenants’ safety and provide documentary evidence of this by carrying out basic risk assessments covering fire, gas, electrical, Legionella and general safety inside and outside the property between each tenancy.
To conclude….Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms… make sure you are following guidelines and doing the necessary checks on the first day of the Tenancy – if not you risk getting into serious trouble!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article …we hope you found it useful…the Peach Team