Industry News James Wood 26/11/2021

Government Response to Consultation on Proposals to Extend Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements

The Government has announced they plan to expand the scope of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm legislation in both private and social housing.

Under upcoming legislation, social housing providers will have to provide a smoke alarm on every storey of a property. Previously only private landlords were required to do this.

This new legislation will also make it a legal requirement for private landlords to install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a combustible fuel appliance (excluding gas cookers).

While most landlords already do this as standard, CO alarms are currently only required if the room is fitted with a solid fuel burning source such as an Aga cooker, or a coal fireplace.

Once the new legislation comes into force, landlords will be legally required to fit CO alarms in the same rooms as other appliances like gas boilers.

The legislation will also include an amendment making it the landlord’s responsibility to repair smoke or CO alarms once they are informed by the tenant of the disrepair.

Responsibility for testing the alarms will still be the tenant’s responsibility should the tenancy agreement require it.

Updates to the guidance supporting the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations are also planned.

While no details have been published on these guidance changes, this may lead to a change in the type of alarm landlords use.

At present the guidance for this legislation makes no recommendations on the placement or type of alarm required. This means landlords can comply with the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations by fitting a battery powered smoke alarm.

However, if a local authority inspects the property they will assess it based on the existing building regulations. This means that a HHSRS hazard may be present if smoke alarms are not mains operated and conforming to BS EN 14604.

With the guidance set to be updated for the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations, it is likely that this will be updated, with new recommendations to fit mains-wired smoke alarms in line with the building regulations.

No date has been set for this new legislation to come into force but we will continue to update our members with new guidance and updates as soon as more information is known.


James Wood

James Wood Head of Policy

James Wood, LLB, is the NRLA’s Head of Policy. James has provided legally sound advice to thousands of landlords for more than six years, along with producing the organisation’s guides and documents and training the organisation’s highly rated advice service.

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