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Landlords required to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis on 11 March 2015.

The move will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.

The measure is expected to take effect from October 2015, and comes with strong support after a consultation on property condition in the private rented sector. England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from government.

This is part of wider government moves to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety, while at the same time avoiding regulation which would push up rents and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “In 1988 just 8% of homes had a smoke alarm installed – now it’s over 90%. The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection. But with working smoke alarms providing the vital seconds needed to escape a fire, I urge all tenants to make sure they regularly test their alarms to ensure they work when it counts. Testing regularly remains the tenant’s responsibility.”

Here at Gordon Barker we agree with this completely, if your property has a fire alarm then be sure to test it regularly and keep it working. It is the responsibility of a tenant to ensure the smoke alarm is fully functional during the term of their tenancy (if it is supplied in a working condition) and remember to let your agent or landlord know if it stops working. But be sure to change the battery first, no one wants the call out charge of a contractor to just change a battery!

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “We’re determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector – a key part of that is to ensure the safety of tenants with fire prevention and carbon monoxide warning. People are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm. That’s why we are proposing changes to the law that would require landlords to install working smoke alarms in their properties so tenants can give their families and those they care about a better chance of escaping a fire.”

This is a warning for all home owners, landlords and tenants alike and is one that needs to be listen to. If your rental property doesn’t have smoke alarm or Carbon Monoxide detector then be sure to let your agent and / or landlord know as soon as possible.

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