From October 1st 2015 the 'Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations' mean landlords have a duty to ensure rented premises have:
- a smoke alarm fitted on each storey of the property where a room is wholly or partly used as living accommodation
- a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any room used wholly or partly as living accommodation which contains a solid fuel burning appliance (coal fire, wood burner, wood burning aga, etc)
- checks to ensure that each 'required alarm' is working on the day a new tenancy begins.
Regulation 3(1) defines the 'relevant landlord' with these duties as 'the immediate landlord in respect of a specified tenancy' and excludes registered providers of social housing.
Fire safety measures for HMOs
The level of fire detection described above is not sufficient for 'House In Multiple Occupation' (HMO) properties.
Enforcing landlord duties
We are the 'enforcing authority' for the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations. Under Regulation 5, if a landlord doesn't fulfil their duties we will 'serve a remedial notice' which sets out:
- which duties the landlord has failed to comply with
- what action should be taken
Action is required within 28 days. If they don't agree with the notice, landlords can submit a written appeal during that period.
Penalties for landlords failing to meet their duties
Under Regulation 7(1), if a landlord fails to comply with (breaches) the terms of the notice, we'll arrange for an authorized person to take the action, but only with the tenant's consent (Regulation 7(1) and (4)).
Under Regulation 8, if the landlord has breached a remedial notice, we can impose a 'penalty charge'. The landlord has a right to request a review of the penalty charge and can appeal it to the First-tier Tribunal on a number of grounds if they do not agree with our decision.
Landlords will not be in breach of a notice if they can show they've taken all reasonable steps, other than legal proceedings, to comply with the terms of the notice (Regulation 6(2)).
Contact Environmental Health if you have concerns regarding fire safety or carbon monoxide within a rented property.
The government has produced a question and answers booklet for landlords and tenants DCLG: Question & Answer Booklet for the Private Rented Sector - Landlords & Tenants [156kb].
FREE smoke alarms
Craven District Council has a quantity of FREE smoke detectors to distribute to private sector landlords in Craven. Landlords wishing to apply for free smoke alarms must apply for them personally by completing the Smoke alarm sign up sheet [194kb] and returning it to the Environmental Health team (you can email it directly to email@example.com).
Please note that alarms will only be provided in return for a completed application form.
As quantities are limited, provision of free alarms is restricted to 20 qualifying properties per landlord and will be distributed on a strictly 'first come, first served' basis.
The regulations specifically exclude registered social landlords from these obligations. Certain types of properties and arrangements are also excluded, such as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), lodgers, long leases, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices. However, other appropriate legislation applies in most cases.