On 1 October 2022, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (“the 2022 Regulations”) came into force. This statute amends the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”).
The 2022 Regulations widens the landlord’s obligation in respect of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within private rented properties. The change comes as an attempt by the government to clamp down further on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the private rented sector.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. Under the 2015 regulations, it has been a legal requirement for a smoke alarm to be fitted on every floor of a property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation. In parallel, a carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted in any room wholly or partly used as living accommodation which contains a fuel burning combustion compliance.
As of 1 October 2022, under the 2022 Regulations, the following changes were implemented:
- Carbon monoxide alarms became mandatory in any room of a property which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation where a “fixed combustion appliance other than a gas cooker” has been installed. Please note that the term “fixed combustion compliance” refers to a fixed apparatus where fuel of any type is burned to generate heat, except gas cookers.
- Previously, landlords were only required to ensure that the alarms worked at the start of each new tenancy. However, after 1 October 2022, if a tenant or their nominated representative, reports a faulty alarm during the tenancy to the landlord, these reports must be investigated and the alarms be repaired or replaced, if necessary, as reasonably practicable.
The above legislation applies to both social and private landlords and is enforced by local authorities, who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a remedial notice is not complied with.
Whilst the 2022 Regulations explicitly deal with hallways by stating that they amount to a room within a property, whether that room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation is not currently clear and no further guidance has been provided. It could be useful, however, to err on the side of caution and install a carbon monoxide alarm to ensure the 2022 Regulations are being complied with in this respect.
A link to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which provides further information as to common questions and answers, and helpful definitions, is available using the following link: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2022/9780348234978.
Please also note that the 2022 regulations should be considered alongside other relevant laws on fire and carbon monoxide safety in rented homes such as the Housing Act 2004, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Act 2022.
Please also note that the above information is general guidance only, legal advice can be sought from our Property Litigation team in individual circumstances.