Changes to carbon monoxide alarm regulations

From Robert Ulph on May 23, 2022

New regulations – the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 – state that from 1st October this year, all rented properties in England must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms where there is any type of fixed combustion application. All alarms must be in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

Previously the requirement for alarms only applied to solid fuel combustion appliances, but carbon monoxide can be produced from many different sources. This could include an oven, gas fire, or a boiler. It can also come from solid fuel burning appliances, including wood burners and open fires. It also isn’t just old appliances or boilers either, as while having brand new gas appliances, such as a new hob or boiler, will significantly reduce the chances of them leaking carbon monoxide it doesn’t rule them out. 

The dangers of carbon monoxide are serious, but as the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are like those of flu it can make diagnosis difficult. They include headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, confusion and eventually loss of consciousness. This so called ‘silent killer’ causes around 60 deaths a year in England and Wales. Despite thinking to the contrary, carbon monoxide does not smell, cannot be tasted, seen or heard. It is colourless and odourless so is almost impossible to detect without an alarm. 

In addition, under the regulations, all landlords of private (and social) housing must ensure a smoke alarm is also fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and should begin the installation of and repair to existing alarms now to avoid being fined and breaching the rules.

All alarms must be in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy and from 1 October when a tenant (or a tenant’s nominated representative) reports that an alarm may not be in proper working order and is found not to be, the alarm must be repaired or replaced as soon as reasonably practicable.

Local authorities can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

At Pennington, we ensure that all landlords adhere to these regulations and we can supply and fit these alarms as well as carry out the regular tests and get signed confirmation from the tenants that this is the case. During the tenancy it is a tenant’s responsibility to ensure the alarms work and to change the batteries. However, should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for replacing them. 

Fortunately, the dangers of carbon monoxide can be avoided and regulation helps to give extra protection. 

As always, if you would like any further discussion on this or anything else on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me as I am happy to help.