Agents are being urged to prepare for changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations which may come in this autumn.
Under current rules landlords or their agents have to ensure a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
They also must put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room burning solid fuel such as wood, coal or biomass and open fires.
Furthermore landlords or agents must ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.
Now housing minister Eddie Hughes says changes to the rules will include carbon monoxide alarms becoming mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented homes, and carbon monoxide alarms becoming mandatory upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations.
In addition private and social landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty, while smoke alarms will become mandatory in all social rented homes.
The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is urging all private landlords not compliant with the new regulations to begin installation and repair of these alarms immediately, as they risk being fined for breaching the rules as soon as they come into force.
In response to the announcement, Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark says: “Parity across tenures is a key focus of the UK Government and extending the regulations to gas appliances will provide additional levels of protection for tenants.
“Letting agents should be aware that the changes will introduce an obligation on private landlords to repair or replace any alarm which is found to be faulty during the period of a tenancy.
“The current regulations only oblige landlords to check that alarms are in working order on the first day of a new tenancy. Ahead of implementation, agents and their landlords should start now to plan for the changes and the impact on management practices going forward.”
More information and guidance for agents and landlords can be found here.