Finally parity for Social housing and PRS fire and carbon monoxide safety

Finally parity for Social housing and PRS fire and carbon monoxide safety

9:30 AM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago 15

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It’s been an incredible double standard to date, but finally, people living in social housing will be safer in their homes under new rules that will mean smoke alarms must be fitted in all rented accommodation, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes MP announced yesterday.

The announcement will also affect Private Landlords and mean housing providers are required by law to install smoke alarms in all social housing, and carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in social and private rented properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires.

The regulation changes will also require:

  • Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.
  • Landlords and housing providers in social and private rented sectors to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they are told they are faulty.

These reforms follow a commitment in the Social Housing White Paper published last year. The White Paper set out proposals for wide-ranging reforms of the social housing sector which will drive up standards, including giving tenants a clear way to raise concerns and providing the regulator with stronger powers to take enforcement action.

The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners.

Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, said: “It is fundamentally right for people to feel safe in their own homes – an issue I’ve advocated for many years.

“Around 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires – but we know that simple interventions can stop these needless deaths.

“I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”

Jim Bywater, National Fire Chiefs Council, Domestic Detection Lead, said: “NFCC welcomes the changes which we believe will make many more people safer in their homes. We have campaigned for regulations to ensure that regardless of tenure, homes have adequate lifesaving detection.

“The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes.”

Guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards will also be updated.

The reforms follow a 2-month consultation, and changes will be brought forward through the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.



Comments

by Mick Roberts

11:30 AM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

Wow,

Will this now get out to those that din't know that Landlords have had to do this for years but Councils haven't, amongst many other double standards Private Landlords have to endure.

I do Carbon Monoxide detectors in all my Letting Agent houses, as that's what they require. But not in all my other houses yet.

This is confusing me:

Carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.

Have we got only got to fit these when new boiler?

Or is it another months trip round all the house to do another retrospective change? Now don't put me down here, as I do already have smoke alarms in all the houses, but not Carbon Monoxide yet. But am I correct in saying if all Combi boilers, do they shut down anyway when detect leak?

He says:
The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners

It won't. we all know Rent pays for everything & more costs (Yes I know it's minor-But there has been a lot of minor ones which all add up) means more rent.

What deadline have we got?

by DSR

11:46 AM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

All this goes to show just how discriminatory the law is against the PRS.

Even on a BASIC H & S item and the social providers don't even have to bother installing. Yes tenants you really are served better by this sector (NOT!)

From my own perspective where we have boilers we have a CM monitor. End of. I check them at LL checks just as I do the smoke detectors. Most now are 10 year lifespan contained unit so just a case of keeping a note of the date when they need replacing. If the tenant takes it off/damages it etc all taken out of the deposit when time comes....

by Luke P

12:47 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

'It'?...'IT' has been a double-standard?? There are numerous, unjustifiable regulations where disparity exists between the private and social sectors!

And are the enforcing LAs obligated to deal with both their own and their 'third-party partners' properties that fall below the requirements in the same way? Councils should not be enforcing against themselves...perhaps we should have an independent (but powerful) group of private landlords that can demand entry and inspection of social sector property, huh??

by John MacAlevey

14:16 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

Ha! I know of local authority properties where thumb locks have not been fitted despite the PRS having been doing this for years. This is a one-rule system..in other words the PRS have the rules..others do not.

by Helen

14:22 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

I can't believe that social housing didn't need carbon monoxide monitors. Holiday homes don't need them either and somebody died this summer as a result of a carbon monoxide leak. They cost about £10 so it is not difficult to get and put near the boiler.
It is my understanding that on the annual gas safety check they have to ensure that a carbon monoxide detector is in place and I have had to repair or replace old ones in order to pass that certificate. I thought it was already mandatory, not only for new boilers.
It is an easy thing to provide and absolutely obvious.
We are made to run through hoops for far more complex and expensive matters but something as simple as this it seems was not even considered. The mind really does boggle.

by Tom

16:20 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

Whatever the legal responsibilities are
regarding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, there is nothing to stop a tenant or homeowner buying either at low cost for the peace of mind they provide. As a landlord we provide two smoke alarms (minimum), in some cases mains powered and others battery powered. My problem, highlighted by our electrician carrying out EICR checks ,not yet mandatory in Wales, is the number of alarms where tenants have either immobilised the fuse to the alarm or removed the battery!

by Mick Roberts

16:27 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Tom at 24/11/2021 - 16:20
Yes had many of them, tenants removing hard wired smoke alarm when they run out of electric & beeping. My Benefit tenants who do run out of gas & electric regular, it seems old cheap battery ones are safer.

by AlanR

16:53 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

I have always fitted CO alarms. Why take chances, they are cheap enough. CYA...

by Helen

17:05 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

If it is an HMO or otherwise licenced property there is a requirement for hard wired smoke alarms. What the tenants do with it after that, I suppose, is their own concern. I get my tenants to sign when they move in to say that there is a smoke alarm and that they will check it and maintain it themselves.

by Paul landlord

19:17 PM, 24th November 2021, About A week ago

As PRS landlords we have all been fitting smoke alarms since 2015 (at least when it was mandated) or for a lot of us a long time beforehand as part of responsible landlording.

I wasn't aware the social sector was outside the 2015 legislation and that amazes me.

But despite all this my question is has a date actually been put forward for the requirement of CO detectors in England?

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