New Smoke & CO Alarm Legislation

June, 2022

Draft amendments to regulations for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for social and private landlords in England have today been released by government.

The changes aim to "bring parity between the rental sectors in respect of safety" And as part of the new legislation expected to come into effect from 1 October 2022., smoke alarm systems will be required in all social rented properties, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in all rooms with a fixed combustion device - excluding gas cookers - and landlords or letting agents must fix faulty alarms once notified. 


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What are the current rules?
Private landlords in Norwich and all of England have been required to install smoke alarms on every floor that has a room used "wholly or partly as living accommodation" since 2015.
Any room with a solid fuel burning appliance should also have a carbon monoxide alarm. The alarm system must be in working order at the beginning of each tenancy.
During a review of the regulations in 2018, it was determined that they had "a positive impact on the number of alarms installed" and that the laws should be expanded to include both private and social rented housing.
Most social housing associations (95%) already comply with the regulations, according to the National Housing Federation.
What will change under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022?
In this new regulation, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 are amended in order to extend the scope of some of the existing rules, ensuring they also apply to social housing providers. The amendment will only apply to England.

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What will be the rules for carbon monoxide alarms?
A carbon monoxide alarm will also be required for every room in which there is a combustion appliance - rather than a "solid fuel-burning combustion appliance," as previously required. It does not apply to gas cookers, which are governed by separate legislation.
What will be landlords' responsibilities for repairs and testing?
As soon as reasonably practical, landlords and agents must also repair or replace any alarms that tenants report aren't working.
As part of the original consultation response, it was also stated that landlords were not required to conduct regular monthly tests as it would be "too burdensome" on them. Responsibility for this would fall to the tenant. 
In addition to private rented landlords, social landlords will now also be liable for a fine of up to £5,000 if found to be in breach of the new regulations.
As part of the new legislation, the government will update the guidance documents.

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*This article is intended as a guide and applied to England only. For more information on the proposals, see
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