Landlords to have legal duty to repair faulty smoke alarms

Private landlords informed that smoke alarms in their properties are faulty, are to have a duty to repair or replace them.

So said the Government in its response to its consultation on Domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: proposals to extend regulations. This was primarily concerned with social housing with over 90 per cent of respondents agreeing with the general proposition that smoke alarm requirements set out in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 should be extended to the social rented sector.

But 94 per cent also agreed with the proposal that legislation be amended to create an obligation for private landlords to replace alarms once informed that they are faulty.

‘We intend to bring forward legislation to this effect as soon as parliamentary time allows. We will ensure that the new requirements come into force as soon as practicable after the regulations are made’, said the Government.

There is also a commitment to update guidance and include examples of how, as best practice, landlords can support vulnerable residents to test alarms.

‘We will also update the guidance document to advise on best practice for the placement of alarms, and to remind landlords to ensure that their choice of alarm also meets British Standards guidance’.

There was also strong support from consultation respondents for a proposal to require private and social landlords to install CO alarms in rooms with fixed combustion appliances (excluding gas cookers).

The Government ‘noted’ the response and said it will bring forward these changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 as soon as parliamentary time allows. ‘We will also create a new requirement for both private and social landlords to repair or replace CO alarms once informed that they are faulty’.