Are carbon monoxide sensors a legal requirement in tenanted properties?

by Readers Question

8:52 AM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Are carbon monoxide sensors a legal requirement in tenanted properties?

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Are carbon monoxide sensors a legal requirement in tenanted properties?

Question from Matt

Does anyone know if its the landlords responsibility to supply a carbon monoxide sensor, in particular, when the boiler is in a bedroom?

Response from Mark Alexander

I am not aware of a law to say you must fit them but you would probably be held accountable if something went horribly wrong and you hadn’t. Therefore, why take the chance for such a small amount of money?

You can buy them for as little as £13 and there have been companies giving them away FREE in the past but I’m not aware of any now. I found THIS GREAT DEAL via Google shopping. Are carbon monoxide sensors a legal requirement in tenanted properties

If any readers are aware of a better deal, please leave a comment below.

On this occasion, I don’t mind if you are a manufacturer or retailer of these products, feel free to post contact details, prices, links etc.

If anybody can broker a special deal for Property118 members that would be superb. You can contact me by email at mark@property118.com

 

Comments

ian

10:50 AM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Matt
If you live in Scotland as from oct 2013 when new boilers or gas appliances are installed a detector must be fitted.
However forget the law fit one anyway more so if your boiler is sighted in a bedroom, the annual gas test only means the boiler is safe on the day you get the certificate it can leak at anytime. Best type to install is hard wired with battery back up as tenants seem to remove flat batteries and not replace them like the smoke alarms.

Jeremy Smith

11:00 AM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

I was reliably informed that if, as the landlord, you fit them (smoke as well), then if something happens and they were found to be faulty or not working, then it was your responsibility, whereas if you shift the onus onto the tenant, if they are then found to be faulty or not working, it was their fault.

Despite this, I still fit both smoke and CO detectors with sealed for life batteries, since I take the opinion that the tenant may not get round to it.

It is a small thing, but if pointed out at viewing, you can impress upon the prospective tenants that you are concerned about their safety and wellbeing in your house.
This one small thing gets a very good response in my experience.

Mike

11:16 AM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

It is a good idea to fit one any way, regardless of the law, I bought two such detectors one for a property I rent and one for my own home, and needless to say that my one went off only 3 weeks after I installed it, and I thought oh well my boiler has been working fine for all those many years and why should the carbon monoxide detector go off thinking that it must be a false alarm, so I switched off the alarm, and half an hour later it went off again, so then I took a quick look at my boiler and found the top plastic cover had melted!

The heat exchanger walls which direct the flames upwards towards the heat exchanger and the burnt products move out through the flue, .the heat exchanger's surrounding wall on my boiler had deteriorated to the extent that some flames were escaping from the side, and reaching the boilers' top housing and hence the plastic panelling or cover melted, and as well as the carbon monoxide escaped which tripped the alarm, so it is well worth the small investment in view of safety.

One could even wire such a detector to switch or cut the power off to the boiler when it goes off.

Mark Alexander

12:20 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "01/02/2014 - 11:00":

I agree Jeremy, however, the liability is easily mitigated with the right clauses in your AST. All landlords should also purchase landlords liability insurance, even if they own a leasehold where insurance is provided by the freeholder.
.

Christopher Browne

14:48 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "01/02/2014 - 12:20":

Mark,

Could you give us an indication to what would be along the right lines for a clause in an AST to mitigate the landlord's liability? Potentially the wording could be very simple however I am sure there is a more legally acceptable way of wording such clauses in an AST.

Also, you raise a good point about landlords liability insurance on leasehold properties. A property can't be insured twice and as it is insured by the freeholder, does a LL have to rely on the freehold insurance or can a LL can extra insurance out? I believe you can get PL insurance with contents insurance but you can't get it by itself, but if the property is let unfurnished then a landlord won't want contents insurance surely.

Mark Alexander

14:59 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christopher Browne" at "01/02/2014 - 14:48":

Hi Chris

I use my brothers AST which he paid a lot of money for. It is protected copyright so I can't share on this occasion, sorry.

However, see our legal section and look at the Tenancy Agreements dropdown.
.

Christopher Browne

15:07 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "01/02/2014 - 14:59":

Thanks for the reply Mark - thats fair enough.

Do you have any thoughts on the PL insurance query?

Essentially I don't see how a LL can get PL insurance for an unfurnished leasehold property - or maybe I haven't spoken to the right people yet?!

Mark Alexander

15:16 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Christopher Browne" at "01/02/2014 - 15:07":

Hi Chris

It is difficult to get Landlord Liability Insurance on a standalone basis. I insure my whole portfolio including freeholds and have at least £10k of contents insurance on all properties, FH or LH and on that basis my insurers throw in the landlords liability insurance for the entire portfolio.

My business partner, Neil Patterson, looks after our block policy, see http://www.property118.com/landlords-insurance-landlords-buying-group/
.

Christopher Browne

15:33 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Thanks Mark - I will look into that, it is something that should be researched thoroughly and I must admit I have been lazy about it thus far.

Jeremy Smith

15:46 PM, 1st February 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "01/02/2014 - 12:20":

I would never leave any of my tenants without smoke and CO alarms, even if I think it's their responsibility.

But a clause in the AST would be 'belt and braces', since you never know if people will disable them, even with a lifetime battery in, these units can just be released from the mounting plate, and they are then de-activated.

A clause stating that they are responsible for maintaining the detectors that you have supplied, and if they are not working, they should do something..ie...tell you..replace them, etc.. : could become a complicated clause, and so it would be wise to get a clause that does the job properly.

I will be fitting wired-in ones for all new properties that I acquire, and the same when replacements are due too.

I am a qualified electrician at present, and regulations say that all circuits in a domestic property should be separated from every other circuit and be on their own circuit breakers....
---if taken 'literally', this means there will be one circuit for the smoke alarms, and tenants can just switch off the apppropriate MCB to deactivate them!
...there is another regulation that states smoke detectors should be wired to a frequently used lighting circuit..
So, in a new build, when the building inspector argues with you about this, then just quote the latter regulation at him..As I have had to do !!

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