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Requirement to install smoke and CO alarms

After a bit of a Parliamentary mishap the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have finally been enacted as SI 2015/1693 and will come into force on the 1st October, as previously announced.

From the 1st October, for all occupied properties (not only new tenancies), landlords (in England only) will be required to ensure that:

  • a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Note that the requirement to install CO alarm specifically only applies to solid fuel burning combustion appliances. Thus it does not apply to gas boilers and appliances.

For the purpose of these regulations, bathrooms and lavatories are deemed to be “rooms used as living accommodation”.

Furthermore, for a new tenancy starting from the 1st October onward, landlords will also be required to ensure that each alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins.

Statutory periodic ASTs and any renewal or replacement tenancies will not count as “new tenancies” so this will really only apply to new tenants. Landlords, or their agents, will have to check alarms on the move in day and keep a record, preferably signed by the tenant.

Guidance from the government is available here.