On 29th July 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published guidance supporting requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all rented homes and carbon monoxide alarms when boilers are installed in new and existing homes irrespective of tenure. The key changes are:
- Smoke alarms will be mandatory in all social housing (this is already a requirement in privately rented homes).
- Carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with any fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in privately rented homes and social housing.
- Carbon monoxide alarms will also be mandatory upon the installation of any fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all homes through amendments to Approved Document J (this is already a requirement for solid fuel appliances).
The latest guidance includes a number of FAQs and a select few are listed below:
What type of alarms are required?
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms (such as mains powered (‘hard-wired’) or battery powered) that should be installed.
How will these regulations be enforced?
The regulations will be enforced by local housing authorities.
What should landlords do if they are aware that they are not compliant?
If landlords are made aware that they are not compliant with the regulations, they should undertake remedial action to install alarms as soon as practicable. Private registered providers of social housing are expected to self-refer to the Regulator of Social Housing whilst they remain non-compliant on the basis of failing to meet their statutory duties.
Does the penalty of up to £5,000 apply per landlord, or per breach?
Where a landlord is in breach, the local housing authority may serve a remedial notice. Failure to comply with each remedial notice can lead to a fine of up to £5,000. Fines will be applied per breach, rather than per landlord or property.
Is there a grace period for installation after the regulations commence?
All landlords (whether social or private) have time between when the amendment regulations became law on 27 June 2022 and when they come into force on 1 October 2022. Landlords must comply with the new requirements from 1 October 2022.
What if landlords have plans in place to be compliant, but the programme of works won’t be complete until after 1 October 2022?
The new requirements come into force on 1 October 2022. Landlords are expected to be compliant with the regulations from that date.
Further information can be found at: