The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022

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For some time, the government has talked about revising the regulations which place an obligation on private landlords to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted in rental properties. At present, landlords must have one smoke alarm fitted per storey and a carbon monoxide alarm where there is a solid fuel appliance, such as an open fire. The draft amendments to those regulations have now been published, with the changes intended to come in to effect on 1 October.

For landlords, the main change is to the requirement regarding carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms will now be required where there is any fitted combustion appliance, other than a gas cooker. This means gas and oil fired boilers, which previously did not require a CO alarm, will now need one. As a result, a CO alarm will be required unless a property has entirely electric heating. A CO alarm can be battery operated and does not need to be wired in.

There is also a requirement in the regulations for landlords to replace or repair any non-working CO alarm as “soon as reasonably practicable” if a tenant or their representative reports it as not working.

There will be very limited transitional provisions and all tenancies in place on 1 October 2022 must have a CO detector and alarm fitted by that date. This will apply to tenancies that are already in place and landlords and agents will need to take urgent action to ensure that properties have alarms in place by that date.

Enforcement of the regulations remains with the Local Authority who can serve a remedial notice and, if that notice is not complied with, issue a penalty of up to £5,000

One final point is that the regulations are being amended so that they are not just limited to the private rental sector, and all social landlords will need to comply with the new regulations.