We all know that it's a good idea to check the smoke alarms in our properties regularly, but how many of us actually do this? And how many of us are aware that the smoke alarm units should normally be replaced every 10 years?
A recent report from one apartment showed that the smoke alarms there had expired in 2011!
Change in the law from 1 October 2022 for landlords
If you are renting out your property, you should already be aware of the change in legislation brought in under The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 which came into force on 1st October 2022. It is now compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes, as well as offering protection against carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are letting out your property, you must:
Ensure at least one smoke alarm is installed on each storey where there's a room used as living accommodation.
Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room classed as "living accommodation" with a fixed combustion appliance, excluding gas cookers.
Repair or replace any faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarms if a tenant informs the landlord or agent that there's an issue.
Landlords and agents will need to ensure that the alarms are checked and are in full working order on the "day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy." The landlord or agent will also need to keep proof of this check.
There is more information for landlords and tenants available online (eg this page from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire Service) and presumably from your letting agent.
Doesn't the Property Manager (RMG) have responsibility for the block smoke alarms?
No. RMG is responsible for the regular checks and maintenance of the communal smoke alarms (i.e. in the corridors and hallways) but you, as the owner, are responsible for checking and maintenance of the smoke alarms in your own property. (click here for our previous news item on this subject).