Under the new law passed today, all landlords must install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:
- Smoke alarms must be installed on every floor of the property and tested at the start of each new tenancy.
- Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in high-risk rooms, such as where solid fuel heating systems are installed.
A survey by AXA Insurance found that 54% of landlords have not yet installed a fire alarm. 71% do not provide a carbon monoxide alarm. Failure to comply will involve sanctions and a possible £5,000 civil penalty.
“We always encourage our landlords to provide a safe property to tenants,” says Jason Dyer of JTM Homes. “This legislation is good news as it will make all landlords adopt these sensible, safe standards. If your rental property is managed by JTM Homes, we will contact you direct to discuss the new legal requirements."
The government’s intention is to create better public protection whilst avoiding the need to increase rents and restrict the supply of rental properties. Annually, 26 deaths and 670 injuries will hopefully be avoided.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.”
He continued: “But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”
To help ease landlords’ costs in meeting these new requirements local fire and rescue authorities have government grant funding to supply free alarms to landlords in their areas.
If you would like to know more about your responsibilities as a landlord – existing or potential – talk to the Lettings team at JTM Homes, (option 2). We’re here to help.