At last – smoke and carbon monoxide regulations confirmed

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Parliament has approved the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 – the regulations which looked in jeopardy after a House of Lords defeat last week.

The vote, late on Tuesday evening, confirms that from October 1 all landlords in England, or agents acting on their behalf, will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires.

Those not abiding by the regulations face fines of up to £5,000.

The House of Lords last week rejected the draft legislation at is final stage on the basis that the proposed introduction was less than three weeks away and that the government had not done enough to inform the private rental sector of the changes. The Lords had also complained that the legislation was poorly worded.

Around 445,000 smoke alarms and 40,000 carbon monoxide alarms have now been distributed by the 46 fire and rescue authorities in England in a bid to encourage agents and landlords to meet their safety obligations.

However, even at this late stage the Association of Residential Letting Agents is hoping for an extension on the introduction date for the new regulations.

David Cox, ALRA managing director, says it is concerned that landlords will not have enough time to comply with the requirements, “as it is simply impracticable for letting agents, who may manage a huge amounts of properties, to gain access to the properties and to install these alarms on behalf of their clients in the time frame allotted.”

He has now written to the government urging a delay until January 1.