New smoke alarm responsibilities for private landlords

New smoke alarm legislation for landlords
New smoke alarm legislation for landlords

Landlords with privately rented property in Cherwell are being reminded they must install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 gave landlords new responsibilities from October 1.

The law now says landlords must ensure that:

> a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used as living accommodation;

> a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room used as living accommodation that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and

> the alarms are in working order at the start of any new tenancy.

If landlords fail to meet the requirements, Cherwell District Council can do the work and impose a penalty of up to £5,000.

Councils can decide the size of the penalty and at Cherwell, the council has decided that for a first offence, where no working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are installed, it will be £2,500, rising to £3,500 and £5,000 for further offences.

There will be a reduced penalty of £2,000 for a first offence where there are some, but not enough alarms. The penalty for first offences will be reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days.

Cherwell District Council’s lead member for housing, Councillor John Donaldson said: “The government wants to improve standards in the private rented sector – these new regulations mean that no one can get away with letting unsafe accommodation. Good landlords already fit alarms – now all landlords must reach the same standard.”

Landlords or tenants wanting more information should email CDC’s private sector housing team at, or phone 01295 227004.