On the 1st October this year, it was announced that the legislation around the installation of carbon monoxide (CO2) alarms by landlords, into their rented premises had been passed as law and will come in to effect over the course of this month. Landlords are required, by law to install two working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties in England.
How long do I have to install the CO2 alarms?
There has been discussion within the House of Lords as to how long it will take for the 1.4 million properties to be brought in line with the new law, with some members requesting a period of time to undertake the changes.
The Association of Registered Letting Agents (ARLA) supports the principle that all tenants should benefit from working alarms as soon as possible. ARLA managing director David Cox:
“Despite having concerns about the time period in which landlords have to comply with the regulation, ARLA fully supports the principle that all tenants should benefit and expect a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in their property. We have provided a fact sheet to our members on what to do to comply with the draft regulations, delivered events to highlight the issue and built a partnership with the Gas Safe Register to promote the wider issue of gas safety in property.”
Rather than allowing a period of time from now, giving agents time to install the CO2 alarms the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government, Baroness Williams of Trafford suggested a grace period following a notice of compliance:
“I hope that I can clarify that, in effect, the grace period means that the landlord has 28 days to comply after the local authority has been notified that the landlord is not compliant. The landlord has 28 days from the issuing of a remedial notice to comply. I hope that that clarifies things”
This new law brings landlords in the UK up to the same level of legislation as current Scottish landlords and will cover all private landlords.
How to comply to the new CO alarm legislation
As a private landlord, when fitting carbon monoxide alarms in residential and domestic properties, you should comply with the British Standard EN 50292:2013. This standard sets out the selection, installation and proper use of CO alarms and the required maintenance.
To ensure your properties comply with the new law, you must have fit CO alarms in all your tenant’s residences before 1st October 2015.
Enforcement and penalties for non compliance
The local authorities are expected to enforce the new carbon monoxide law, taking it into account during the regular inspections of landlord’s premises and property management. Some local authorities are already prepared to undertake this enforcement within the licensing scheme for HMO’s (House in Multiple Occupancy), regarding smoke alarms.
Penalties for non compliance of the carbon monoxide legislation range from remedial notices, warning the landlord to make the necessary changes, to penalty charges of up to £5,000 for breaches of the law.
“Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.
This would bring private rented properties into line with existing building regulations that already require newly-built homes to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed.”
Since this law has now been passed through Parliament, it will no longer be subject to change, this is what we know:
- Landlords will be required to fit and maintain carbon monoxide alarms in all their privately rented properties from 1st October 2015
- Carbon monoxide alarms must conform to British Standards
- The new legislation will be enforced by the local authority
- Penalties for non compliance may be £5,000 per breach
For further information and to buy the British Standard EN 50292:2013, follow the links below:
BSi shop for standards: https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030150310