New CO requirements and alarm repair obligations
All rented properties in England must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms used as living accommodation and which contain a fixed combustion appliance (of any fuel type), such as gas heaters and boilers from the 01 October 2022 (excluding gas cookers). Gas cookers have been made exempt because they are believed to be responsible for fewer incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning than gas boilers.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 amend the 2015 regulations, to include an obligation to install a carbon monoxide alarm in living accommodation where there is a fixed combustion appliance (and not just solid fuel combustion appliances). These regulations also change current practices for social housing in respect of alarms but any changes for social housing are beyond the scope of this newsletter.
The regulations only affect England as different rules are coming into force in December this year for Wales under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
There is also a new requirement for landlords or letting agents acting on their behalf, to repair or replace a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm as soon as reasonably practicable after it has been reported by the tenant that an alarm may not be in proper working order. The Government will update government guidance on where to place alarms and the types of alarms required to meet the relevant standards.
Local authorities are to enforce these regulations and will allow written representations made by a landlord in response to a remedial notice. The remedial notice will be suspended whilst the local authority considers withdrawing or confirming the notice. Landlords could be fined £5,000 if they are found to be in breach of these regulations.
The property health and safety policies, and residential letting agents’ terms and conditions will be updated in respect of these changes. New template letters will also be available (once the regulations are in force), for landlords or letting agents to confirm that any repairs or replacement of the alarms have been completed.
These regulations are part of the Government’s wider proposals to ensure all homes are safe to live in. Landlords and letting agents must make sure their properties are compliant with these regulations no later than the 01 October 2022.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.