Carbon Monoxide Alarms
With luck most landlords reading this will be aware of their responsibility to ensure there are working smoke alarms in their property. This requirement came in some years ago under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
To recap, the regulations mean that a landlord must supply a smoke alarm on each floor where there is living accommodation, a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in any room that has a solid fuel burning device (e.g woodburner, open fire), and to ensure they are working on the start date of the tenancy. Thereafter the tenant or occupier should test regularly and ensure they are kept clean of any dust and so on.
Earlier this year the Government ran a consultation to seek opinions on whether the regulations should go further in regards to carbon monoxide alarms. Often referred to as the silent killer carbon monoxide has no smell or taste so it is very difficult to know when an appliance is faulty. Invariably by the time it is discovered it is too late.
The outcome of the consultation was published yesterday and those that want to can read this here.
In summary the Government have concluded that CO alarms would be of benefit and they intend to amend the current regulations. This will mean that CO alarms will need to be installed in rooms where you have gas fittings, although interestingly not a gas cooker.
Some landlords feel tenants should shoulder the responsibility when a smoke or CO alarm is faulty. Our view has always been that if you supply something as part of the let then ultimately you are responsible for it, if it is faulty through no action of the tenant. The consultation has helpfully cleared up this confusion and there is an intention to include within the regulations the requirement for the landlord to repair or replace a faulty unit.
Taking this a step further, alarms will often have expiry dates and it is important that a landlord is aware of this so they can ensure they are replaced in good time. Whilst an alarm that has passed the expiry date may still”beep”, they do deteriorate over time so the level of protection will be much lower. Plus of course there may be implications for any insurance policies.
So, on your next property visit take the time just to check and if you don’t already have one think about installing a CO alarm.
For general advice on this subject or any other property related issues please do get in touch – we’d be pleased to help.
Please note the date this article was published as the law may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.
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