LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Government launches review into carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties

Government launches review into carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties
It sounds ludicrous to even think it in 2018, yet as recently as 2014, landlords renting properties built before 1992 were not legally obliged to install smoke detectors in their properties.

Legislation introduced in 2015 made it perfectly clear things needed to change, but this week the government appears to have decided those steps still don't go far enough and is launching a review into carbon monoxide alarms in homes across the country.

While a formal government consultation into alarms in the private rental sector has already taken place, with no changes imminent, this latest review, scheduled to take place later this year, will establish whether current regulations are stringent enough.

Currently, landlords (or their managing agents) must ensure a smoke alarm is installed on every storey of their properties where a room is used as living accommodation, while carbon monoxide detectors must be present in said rooms that contain a solid, fuel burning appliance.

The recently-announced review will look at whether carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed for all methods of heating, in particular gas and oil.

Concerns over the cost of alarms will also come to the table during the review, with suggestions expensive alarms are bringing down the rate of installation.

In 2015 when the regulations regarding carbon monoxide alarms were tightened, research suggested those renting property were three times more likely to suffer a carbon monoxide-related incident than homeowners - a shocking statistic and proof if proof were needed that that landlords need to take these regulations very seriously indeed.

Government figures released in 2017 sparked a vociferous reaction from national body the Gas Industry Safety Group when it was revealed as many as four out of five rented properties were not protected by a carbon monoxide alarm.

However, estimates suggested a mere 8% of UK rental dwelling stock had solid fuel appliances installed, hence the calls last week for the 2015 regulations to encompass all types of fossil fuel.

As a final note, it's worth reiterating to landlords that those not complying with the 2015 regulations could face a fine of up to £5,000.

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