Q. My tenant won't let me in to fit the smoke alarms that are required by the new Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide regulations. Does this mean I will be fined?
A. No, you should be all right. These regulations, which came into force on 1 October 2015 (and which only apply in England), require all rented properties to have smoke alarms fitted on every story where there is living accommodation and in every room where there is a solid fuel burner. There is no grace period and landlords will be in default if the alarms are not fitted by the 1 October.
Landlords in breach will be subject to a 'remedial notice' ordering them to install the alarms, and if this is not complied with, the landlord will be liable for a penalty charge notice for a sum of up to £5,000.
However, the regulations make it clear that landlords will have a valid defence to this if they are able to show that the tenant has refused to let them in, and the regulations also say that landlords will not be expected to bring litigation, for example such as injunction or possession proceedings, in order to gain access.