Press release

Brandon Lewis raises the alarm over tenant safety

Landlords are required by law to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

smoke alarm

New fire safety measures will help save the lives of tenants and ensure all rented property is equipped with a smoke alarm, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said today (1 October 2015).

From today, landlords will be required by law to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under new government measures coming into force.

It is estimated this could help prevent more than 25 deaths and nearly 700 injuries a year. Landlords who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

We’re determined to create a bigger, better and safer private rented sector. That means ensuring the safety of tenants with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Fire kills and people are at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.

These changes will help save lives by ensuring all landlords install alarms in their properties, giving tenants the vital seconds they need to escape.

Creating a bigger, better private rented sector

The laws are part of wider government moves to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect tenants, while at the same time avoiding needless red-tape.

The changes to the law will require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms where there are solid fuel burning appliances.

They will need to ensure that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

The move is in line other measures the government is taking to improve standards in the private rented sector and crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who exploit the most vulnerable.

Forthcoming legislation will create a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents, helping councils to focus their enforcement action on where it is most needed, and keeping track of those who have been convicted of housing offences.

Guidance published today will help protect tenants against unfair eviction and ensure they are more aware of their rights and responsibilities.

New laws under the Deregulation Act will bring an end to retaliatory evictions, where tenants make a legitimate complaint to their landlord about the property, but instead of making the repair the landlord serves them an eviction notice.

Further information

  • The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have been approved by Parliament.

  • An explanatory booklet for landlords, giving details on the regulations is available on Gov.uk. A booklet for local authorities is also available.

  • The government has funded local fire and rescue authorities to purchase a limited number of alarms for free distribution to landlords. Further information is available from www.alarms4life.com or from local fire and rescue services.

  • The Fire Kills campaign run jointly by the government and fire and rescue authorities urges every householder, including tenants, to test their smoke alarms regularly.

  • Guidance has been published which describes new measures in the Retaliatory Eviction and the Deregulation Act 2015 that will protect tenants from eviction when they raise a complaint about the condition of their home.

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Published 1 October 2015