The UK Association of Letting Agents says it welcomes new rules for alarms which put the social and private rental sectors on a par.
UKALA has applauded the announcement last week by housing minister Eddie Hughes MP which brings social housing smoke alarm rules up to those in the private sector; and that carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in social and private rented properties with fixed appliances, such as gas boilers or fires.
The proposed regulation changes will also require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.
Additionally all landlords in social and private rented sectors will be required to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once reported as faulty.
All costs of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will have to be met by property owners.
Around 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires.
These reforms follow a proposal in last year’s Social Housing White Paper detailing reforms in the social housing sector to increase standards, including giving tenants an easier way to raise concerns. It also provides the regulator with stronger powers to take enforcement action.
Tim Clark, chairman of UKALA, says: “It has been an unacceptable double standard until now, but people living in social housing will now be safer at home under these new rules that require smoke alarms to be fitted in all rented accommodation.
“UKALA has been involved in these consultations throughout the process and we applaud the parity that has come out of it.
“The new regulations will help to bring down fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities. It will also give increased protection to tenants of both private and social rented homes in England.”
The proposed reforms follow a two month consultation on amending the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.