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Government to increase fire and safety rules for landlords

The Government is set to strengthen fire safety rules for landlords that would cover a wider range of appliances and would also mean more frequent checks and maintenance. It is proposing to amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations so that landlords have to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where tenants have a fixed combustion appliance apart from gas cookers, such as water and space heaters.

Currently, a carbon monoxide alarm is only needed in any room used as living accommodation, burning solid fuel. While similar to the current regulations - where landlords carry out checks to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of every new tenancy - under the new rules, they would also be responsible for repairing and replacing alarms if these are reported as faulty during the tenancy.

The proposals cover England and landlords have until 11 January 2021 to comment on the consultation. The Government stated: “We propose that the guidance published alongside the regulations says that if, on testing their alarm, tenants find that their alarm is not in working order, they should first consider testing or replacing the battery. If the alarm is mains-operated or is still not working after the battery is replaced, residents should contact the landlord to arrange for the repair or replacement of the alarm.”

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