UK landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties. The new legislation was announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis and will take effect from October, 2015 (subject to Parliamentary approval).

The government says the move will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries per year.

Fire and rescue services are expected to support private landlords in helping them meet their new responsibilities. The provision of free alarms will be made available using grant funding from the government.

Lewis explained, “In 1988, just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed compared to over 90% today. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their properties but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.”

Landlords will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and they should be tested at the start of each new tenancy. They will also need to install monoxide alarms in high risk rooms for example rooms with a solid fuel heating system.

Failure to adhere to the new measures and install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could end with a civil penalty of up to £5,000. This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that requires all newly built homes to have hard wired smoke alarms installed.

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