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Written by Emma Lunn

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under new measures announced by housing minister Brandon Lewis.

The government says the move will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year.

The measure is expected to take effect from October 2015, and comes with strong support after a consultation on property condition in the private rented sector.

England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from government.

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.

“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.”

The proposed changes to the law would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association said: “This is a policy that we campaigned hard for, and was a key part of the RLA’s manifesto for the private rented sector.

“Proposals for funding to provide free alarms to landlords are particularly welcome and I look forward to seeing the details of this.”



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    Spot on.... Notice there seems to be no "free handout" of detectors in Scotland... :(

    Government does seem to be taking things too far with overkill requirements. Personally I think they are just trying to keep industries going by bringing out these legislative requirements. 3 detectors in a one bed flat??

    I actually think it has potential to make properties less safe.... False alarms means people will disable or deliberately break alarms. Watch out for that being the landlords fault too.

    Its no wonder most people and not growing their portfolios and deciding instead to either stick with what they have or bail out.

    All this and the balance between tenant and Landlord is still so un-evan and looks like getting worse in favour again of the tenant.

    Be careful who you vote for in this election.... In my opinion for many reasons and housing being one, Labour and greens would be a disaster for landlords.

    • 12 March 2015 10:50 AM
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    In Scotland it is already a legal requirement to provide an interlinked, hard wired smoke alarm in each landing and living room, a heat detector in kitchen and CO2 in every room with a gas appliance. With effect from 1st December 2015 all properties will require an electrical certificate renewable every five years along with PAT testing of ALL electrical appliances. Just to encourage Landlords many local authorities will deem this work as alterations and require a building regulation application. Fee £100 or £150 if submitted retrospectively which of course will require a plan etc etc.

    Add this to risk assessment of common footpaths, gardens and sheds, Gas Safety and Legionnaires Disease….almost forgot checking immigration status and tax collection for HMRC….why would you be a Landlord??

    • 12 March 2015 09:27 AM
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    this is an eu instruction

    • 12 March 2015 08:40 AM
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