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 2 years 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.

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20:09 PM, 24th November 2021, About 2 years ago

My last tenant kindly had the gas meter taken out in order to stop the standing charge! He preferred electricity and convector heaters. I've held the view for years GCH is archaic - water and gas pipes everywhere plus pollution whereas modern electronic heaters are far more effective and can use in just one room if need!


13:42 PM, 25th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Tom at 24/11/2021 - 16:20
Yep my issue also! At LL checks I take photos of alarms where batteries are taken out/alarms broken/blocked up purposely by the tenant. A sharp letter/email sent to make it clear they have to replace batteries/unblock etc as they will be held fully responsible for any untoward circumstances that may happen thereafter as a result of their misuse. Where they do not comply within a set period of time, I replace, photograph, get them to sign something to say this has been done, then charge it to them. If it happens again - straight to possession notice.


16:20 PM, 25th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Yes, I fully understand your actions in protecting your property, yourself from possible prosecution and as a consequence the lives of the tenants. What I cannot fathom is why tenants would risk their lives by disabling a smoke alarm installed to protect them.

Jessie Jones

17:30 PM, 26th November 2021, About 2 years ago

I had a lot of extra electrical work done to try and future-proof some installations since we now have to have safety certificates. But now I find that I was wasting my time. No doubt that in time there will be a requirement for these CO alarms to be hard wired into the mains, and we will all have to have the electrical engineers back again.
Of course I will be passing these costs on to my tenants as I am not in the business of making a loss, but it does seem a bit harsh on tenants when the government introduces changes to the regulations less than a year after the last change.

Grumpy Doug

9:52 AM, 27th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 26/11/2021 - 17:30
"when the government introduces changes to the regulations less than a year after the last change."
Jessie - par for this government these days. You'll get used to it!!

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