Many in the lettings industry had already geared up for the change, seen as a major advance with regard to tenant safety. But the noble lords declared that the industry had not been consulted sufficiently ahead of the measure becoming effective so rejected the legislation with only three weeks to go to the deadline for implementation.
With exactly two weeks to go, the legislation was then passed meaning that from October 1 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 will be in force.
All landlords in England, or agents acting on their behalf, will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy.
Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires.
Those who fail to meet the regulations face fines of up to £5,000.
Landlords who have not yet prepared for the smoke alarm installations believing that they no longer need worry about the October 1 deadline must now ensure they have the necessary alarms in place or risk being fined.
Of particular note are the regulations concerning sub-tenancies, especially those in the agricultural sector. Where a tenant farmer has the tenancy of a farm which includes residential properties that he or she lets on their own terms, then that farmer will be the “relevant landlord” and consequently responsible for complying with the legislation.
It is already the case that under the Buildings Regulations 1991 all newly built property from June, 1992, and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) must have fitted mains-powered smoke alarms with battery backup.
For some time, in anticipation of the regulations that come into effect on October 1 we have been advising