Why are Social Landlords excluded from smoke alarm regulations – are their tenants less valuable?

by Readers Question

10:02 AM, 4th March 2016
About 5 years ago

Why are Social Landlords excluded from smoke alarm regulations – are their tenants less valuable?

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Why are Social Landlords excluded from smoke alarm regulations – are their tenants less valuable?

I received this letter, but my boiler service was 2015 by the way.social landlord

I completed a home safety check on behalf of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service on the (date and address) of which you are the landlord.

During the check it was noted that the property had only one working smoke detector and the boiler has not been serviced since 07/01/2012 (proof of which is attached).

Smoke alarm regulations
From 1 October 2015 new regulations require landlords to ensure the fire safety of their tenants as well as offer protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is happening?
The new regulations require that from 1 October 2015, landlords are required to install a smoke alarm on every floor of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuels appliance.

Landlords are required to check that alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy and no doubt tenants will notify landlords whenever alarms appear to be faulty.
Enforcement of the Regulations is the responsibility of the local housing authority, which can require landlords to fit alarms and if the landlord fails to do so has the power to arrange for them to be fitted. There is a power to levy a penalty charge on the landlord. The penalty charge is limited to £5000.

Who will be affected?
The new regulations will apply to all ‘specified tenancies’, i.e. residential premises where a person or persons have a right to occupy the premises and rent is payable.

Who is not affected?
The regulations specifically exclude registered social landlords from these obligations. Certain types of properties and arrangements are also excluded, e.g. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), lodgers, long-leases, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices.

Other legislation applies to many of the properties and arrangements that have been excluded.

Transitional arrangements
Further guidance will be issued by the Government and will cover a range of issues, such as testing, including hard-wired systems, clarity on which tenancies are affected and issues of overlap and interaction between these new regulations and others, such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

NFRS have supplied and fitted a further two smoke alarms in your property, if you have other properties that have no smoke detectors you will have to supply and fit smoke detectors in those properties as well.

Mick


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Comments

Robert Mellors

21:40 PM, 6th March 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "06/03/2016 - 07:14":

At the moment it is perhaps about 20% of properties p.a. where fire alarm systems are damaged, and about 30% where the detectors are covered up with carrier bags (perhaps because my tenants don't own tea-towels?). I've even had them where tenants have snipped the wires or removed fuses so as to disable the fire alarm systems.

It's all very well the government imposing all these fire safety requirements on landlords, but the government does nothing to protect landlords from tenants that deliberately disable the fire alarm systems.

WhiteRose FireSafety

11:57 AM, 24th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Byways" at "05/03/2016 - 08:35":

All you have to do is ensure working smoke alarms are fitted at the start of each tenancy there really is nothing difficult about it.

As for proving it you get the tenant to sign for the smoke alarms and that they agree on the total and they are in working order..even take pics if you want to.

Its then up to the tenant to maintain, then same again for the Landlord when a new tenant moves in.

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