A Message to Landlords – Updates to Legislation
Calling all landlords, the legislation about carbon monoxide alarms has recently changed, and to stay compliant, and avoid a £5,000 fine, here’s what you need to know:
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 states that landlords must make sure there is a carbon monoxide alarm placed in a room with a fixed combustion appliance, most commonly a boiler. The new rules came into force on October 1st and full details can be found here.
The update now creates parity across privately rented and registered providers of social housing, who were not previously included in the regulations, which also state that a smoke alarm is fitted on every storey where a room is being used as living accommodation.
Following the Government’s amendment to the landlord’s Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations, which came into effect on 1 October 2022, Custom Heat has added to its procedures to proactively highlight the new legislation to customers in rental properties.
When visiting homes, engineers are now proactively asking customers if they rent their home. If the answer is yes, the person will be advised of the legislative amendment and to contact their landlord if the correct smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are not already installed. However, while the responsibility is firmly on landlords, safety is Custom Heat’s priority, and the company is pledging to return to any customer’s property at no charge and fit carbon monoxide alarms should the tenant’s landlord not be responsive.
Previously, private landlords were required to install a carbon monoxide alarm in properties where a solid fuel burning appliance was fitted, but now one must be installed in all rooms where there is a fixed combustion appliance. This includes, gas boilers and gas fires, but gas cookers are excluded from the updated regulation.
Managing Director of Custom Heat, Lincoln Smith, commented: “It is only a month ago when we were reminding people about the importance of fitting carbon monoxide alarms and other gas safe steps as part of Gas Safety Week, so this amendment to the landlord’s regulations is welcome news. Having conversations around gas safety is something our engineers do with customers regularly, but we’re taking it one step further and have added it into our procedural checklist. Now our one hundred strong team has been instructed to be even more proactive, helping those who are tenants to understand the law and to stay safe.
“It is of course a landlord’s duty to comply, and they could find themselves with a £5,000 fine should they not do. However, my concern is people’s safety so we’re also advising customers to get back in touch with us if their landlord doesn’t quickly respond to the new legislation. We will return to fit audible carbon monoxide alarms in any rooms with a fixed combustion appliance, free of charge.”
The new requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice. From 1 October 2022, all landlords relevant to the regulations must:
- Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.
- Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
- Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.
If you are a tenant and do not have a working carbon monoxide alarm, your landlord is now required by law to repair or replace a faulty alarm, or install one in the absence of any.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a potentially fatal condition for which the cause is almost impossible to detect without the correct equipment.
Carbon monoxide alarms are relatively inexpensive and simple to install, with the recommendation that they are kept 1-3 metres away from a carbon monoxide source. Which means a unit or a shelf would suffice. Landlords are advised to always follow the individual manufacturer’s instructions and opt for an alarm that is compliant with British Standards BS 50291.