The many regulations imposed on landlords of residential rental properties may seem a hassle at times, but most are simply what a responsible landlord would want to conform to. This is certainly true of the rules around carbon monoxide alarms — and these are to be updated in a couple of months.
Why Are Carbon Monoxide Alarms Essential?
The last thing any landlord wants is for tenants or their guests to be killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Quite apart from your normal human horror at such a tragedy, it would make the property hard to let again, and could cast doubt on the rest of your properties.
Carbon monoxide is a deadly poisonous gas that’s both colourless and odourless, making it almost impossible to detect without specialist equipment. It can be produced by faulty gas appliances, such as heaters or boilers. In fact, it can be produced by any fixed combustion appliance, even if it isn’t gas powered.
While measures like regular gas checks will reduce the risk, installing working carbon monoxide alarms can make the difference between a tragedy and a narrow escape.
What Do the New Regulations Say?
On 1st October 2022, the new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 come into force in England, updating the 2015 regulations. Landlords will now be obliged to install a working carbon monoxide alarm in any rented property used as living accommodation that contains a fixed combustion appliance. This isn’t obligatory if the property only has a gas cooker, but landlords may well consider installing one anyway.
The new regulations also specify that a faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarm must be repaired or replaced as soon as reasonably possible after it’s been reported. The regulations are to be enforced by local authorities, who’ll be empowered to issue a remedial notice if it’s felt a landlord has failed to fulfil any obligations. The landlord will have the right of reply, asking for the remedial notice to be removed.
What Do You Need to Do?
Although the regulations don’t come into force until October, it’s important to remember that everything required has to be in place by then. As always, that means the sooner you start preparing, the better.
You’ll need to check all your properties to find out whether they have fixed combustion appliances. If so, is there a carbon monoxide alarm, and is it in working order? If the answer to either question is no, it’s vital to put that right before October.
If you’re in any doubt, your local authority should be able to advise you. And, if you need advice about any financial aspect of your business, give me a ring for a chat.