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Is it a legal requirement to provide smoke alarms in my rental property?

In December 2013 a law was passed that would enable the Government to introduce a requirement on landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented properties. Ministers remain sceptical of the need for such regulation and a review is currently taking place.

Update October 2015:

  • This is now law from the 1st October
  • A property must have a smoke alarm on each habitable floor. it can be battery operated and does not have to be mains wired.
  • A property must have a carbon monoxide alarm where there are solid fuel burning appliances i.e log burners and open fires. Not where Gas boilers are fitted but we do recommend they are. it can be battery operated and does not have to be mains wired.

An update on the regulations can be found here New legislation for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms announced - March 2015

The answer to this currently depends on the type of property and its age, but if one isn’t fitted to your property ask your landlord or letting agent to supply and fit one. For the health & Safety of their tenants they should feel obliged to do so.

Should a landlord install one as required by law ?

In older single family rental properties, there is no legal requirement for landlords to provide a smoke alarm, but when a property is an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) these are required to have mains operated interlinked smoke alarm system.

If a property has been built after June 1992 it must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms with at least one detector per floor level.

It is strongly recommended that landlords do provide at least a battery operated smoke alarm or alarms in their rented properties and we ask all landlords to provide at least one battery operated smoke alarm on the stair landing on the 1st floor. The tenant is made aware of this alarm on entry to the tenancy and its operation is checked and confirmed.

From March 24th to March 30th it was the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) UK Home Safety Week which focused on the importance of fitting smoke alarms in your home.

It was highlighted that in December 2013 a law was passed that would enable the Government to introduce a requirement on landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented properties. Ministers remain sceptical of the need for such regulation and a review is currently taking place.

CFOA is campaigning to make it a legal requirement for ALL landlords to have working smoke alarms in their properties. A working smoke alarm as part of a home safety strategy is the most critical piece of lifesaving equipment any home can possess and the early warning it offers can mean the difference between life and death.

Everyone should test their smoke alarms once a week and your tenancy agreement will probably have a clause stating that it is the tenants responsibility to test any installed alarms. They should also be tested by an agent when they carry out a periodic visit during your tenancy.

Contact Daniel Bourke of the award winning and licensed Belvoir Dunstable Letting Specialists for a no obligation consultation or guidance on 01582 343209 or call into our shop oat 18 Church Street, Dunstable

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