Landlords also prompted to check alarms in tenanted properties

As autumn arrives, it’s a timely reminder to check your home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors are in good working order before you start using your heating systems.

That’s the message from East Devon District Council’s Private Sector Housing Team who are urging homeowners to stay safe as the weather turns colder.

The team provides help and support to homeowners, landlords and tenants living in private housing to ensure that accommodation meets the regulated standards.

Recently the team issued its first remedial action notice under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 on a landlord who was renting out a property in Axmouth.  The property was found to have a wood burning stove and was not fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm.  The landlord had 28 days in which to fit the alarm, or face a £5,000 fine. In this case, the landlord installed the alarm and the tenants are now protected with a working alarm to warn them of carbon monoxide in their home.

Councillor Jill Elson, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities said that the new legislation was important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of. She said:

The regulations came in to force last year to ensure that all homes that are rented out are protected by working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If a tenant finds that they do not have working alarms they must contact their landlord as soon as possible and tell them.

We all know that smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. Carbon monoxide is particularly difficult to detect as it is colourless, odourless and tasteless, yet the gas is  fatal. Properly fitted alarms are the best way of protecting you and your family.

 Landlords have a duty to ensure that there are working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in place at the start of each letting. This may mean that the landlord has to install the required alarms, and/or, repair the installed alarm and check an installed alarm is in proper working order.

More information on the council’s principles for enforcing this legislation is available on the alarms page of the council's website.