16 Aug 2022

From 1 October 2022, just 7 weeks away, all tenanted dwellings in England – including all Buy-To-Let’s, licensed and unlicensed HMOs – will need to comply with the amended regulations.

The Regulations will finally now apply to social landlords too so that councils can get a taste of their own medicine for flouting the law and providing abysmal properties to their renters.

Landlords or their agents must also ensure there is a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that contains a fixed combustion appliance (such as gas boilers, log-burning stoves or oil boilers but excluding gas cookers) and which is used as living accommodation.

A significant change for the private rental sector is that landlords or their agents will be responsible for repairing or replacing any smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they are informed by their tenant. 

All alarms must comply with British Standards BS 5839-6 for smoke alarms, and British Standards BS 50291 for carbon monoxide alarms. 

Landlords or agents must continue to ensure that alarms are in proper working order on the day that a tenancy commences and must keep a record of this. Any breach may make the landlord or agent be liable for remedial notices and ultimately a fine of up to £5,000.

Said Phil Turtle, compliance director with Landlord Licensing & Defence, “Of course in HMOs, whether licensed or not, the Alarms must be to BS5839-6 and either Grade D1 with coverage LD2 or Grade A (panel system) coverage LD2 or the Landlord can expect a £20,000 to £30,000 fine under HMO Management Regulation 4.”

“Landlords should be aware of their changing responsibilities come October 1st. While some landlords will already have compliant smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, the majority that Landlord Licensing & Defence inspects are deficient and most landlords don’t have carbon monoxide alarms for their gas boilers.

Also landlords may not realise the additional requirement to repair and replace these during the tenancy. These changes may seem small versus other legislation in the pipeline, but it’s more important than ever for landlords to be clued-up on all their legal obligations.  

“Especially as councils are all switching their role from environmental health (ie better properties) to enforcement (i.e. revenue collection)” concludes Turtle.

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