Following October the 1st 2015 and the introduction of the The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 all rental properties have specific regulations concerning smoke and CO alarms.
HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) have additional safety and fire regulations to follow with the Fire Safety Order 2005 requiring landlord to perform certain duties including a Risk Assessment on their HMO in respect to fire safety.
Following the introduction of The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 from the 1st October 2015 smoke alarms and in certain circumstances, Carbon Monoxide Alarms are a mandatory requirement.
What are the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements?
A rental property requires a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor, alongside this landlords and agents are required to have a Carbon Monoxide monitor in any living area where a fuel burning appliance is located.
The legislation defines the required duty of a landlord as -
7.6 These Regulations place duties on a “relevant landlord” of a “specified tenancy” of residential premises in England to ensure:
1. a smoke alarm is equipped on each story of the premises which is wholly or partly used as living accommodation;
2. a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and
3. the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of any new tenancy.
This legislation has been brought in by the Government to save lives. The government estimates that the enforcement of the legislation will save 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.
A Government publication claims that in 1988 just 8% of properties had fire alarms, now the figure has risen to nearer 90%. People are 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is not a fire alarm.
Cynics might argue that the legislation was launched in the heat of the 2015 General Election as a way of the Tories showing that they were on the side of ‘Generation Rent’ and weren’t entirely in the pocket of landlords.
Property Hawk along with any responsible landlord supports steps that save lives. Our gripe as always is that landlords and rental properties seem to have been targeted over owner-occupiers. Is this fair or just? As always your thoughts and comments are welcomed.
All properties built after June 1992 are required by the Building Regulations to have a mains operated inter-connected smoke alarm fitted on every floor.
The exception to this rule is if a rental property is classified as a House In Multiple Occupation (HMO).
These properties are required by law to have a mains wired fire alarm. The reason for this is that HMOs are more dangerous for their tenants. Statistically occupants are 6 times more likely to die in a fire than those living in a single family house.
The type of fire alarm system to be installed in the HMO will depend on the property and the risk assessment carried out by the landlord. The fire alarm and detection system should accord with British Standard 5839: part 6. The specifies and grades fire detection and alarm systems for residential properties.
Landlords need to include a document possibly in their tenancy pack with the clear instruction that tenants need to test and be responsible for the replacement of any batteries required by the fire alarm. This instruction sheet should be included alongside the copy of the tenancy agreement, the property inventory and any appliance operating instructions, or emergency procedures information as part as a moving in pack given to tenants.
It is important for landlords have it determined who is responsible for the testing and maintaining the smoke alarms, whether the landlord, letting agent or tenant. If the letting agent is to be responsible, this should be noted in the management contract. If the tenant is to be made responsible for this then, adequate warnings must be given in writing by the landlord.
There is no compulsory requirement for landlords to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in normal tenanted properties, but again, this may be a wise precaution by landlords, at least in the kitchen area.
If a landlord does make the commitment to provide fire extinguishers to a rental property, they need to be aware that they should arrange for a 12 monthly service of the equipment to make sure that they are not held responsible for any faults in the equipment. By providing a fire extinguisher it becomes their responsibility to have it regularly serviced.
Regulations on fire safety do apply to any furniture and furnishings in a rental property .
Landlords are always advised to discuss any concerns they might have regards the fire safety of a rental property with their local fire prevention officer, making sure they follow any advice given.
FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY
FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY
RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
HMO (HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION)
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
COMMUNAL HEATING REGULATIONS
INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY
A GUIDE FOR NEW LANDLORDS
WHICH PERIOD OF PROPERTY
BUYING OFF PLAN
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
MANAGING RENTAL PROPERTY
GIVING NOTICE TO LEAVE
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
MOULD AND CONDENSATION
MAINTENANCE OF A RENTAL PROPERTY
LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY
TEN STEPS TO LETTING
WRITING A LETTING ADVERT
FURNISHING A PROPERTY
LETTING AGENT OR DIY
SELECTING A LETTING AGENT
TENANTS ON BENEFITS
LETTING TO STUDENTS
PREPARING AN INVENTORY
TERMS OF A TENANCY
LENGTH OF A TENANCY
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
TENANCIES IN SCOTLAND
LETTING TO TENANTS WITH PETS
LEGISLATION OF LETTING PROPERTY
TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
PREPARING FOR A POSSESSION HEARING
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS