Housing minister Brandon Lewis recently announced that, from October, all private landlords in England must have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. The government claims that the new law will prevent 36 deaths and 1375 injuries per year. Landlords will need to ensure they’re complying with the new legal requirements. Failure to do so could affect your insurance cover, as well as leaving you open to sanctions and a potential penalty of £5000.
New fire regulations for landlords
The legislation follows a consultation on property conditions in the private rented sector. Government fire minister Penny Mordaunt has announced £3m worth of funding for nearly half a million free smoke alarms destined for privately rented homes. These will be supplied via England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities. Roughly, 445,000 smoke alarms and 400,000 carbon monoxide alarms are to be given to private landlords.
A smoke alarm will be required on each floor of a home and must be tested at the beginning of each tenancy. However, while the initial installation and testing is the landlord’s responsibility, it is the tenant’s duty to test them regularly and ensure they are functioning. Carbon monoxide alarms will also need to be installed in high-risk locations such as those properties with a heating system burning wood or fossil fuels. Malfunctioning cookers and open fires can also emit this deadly silent killer.
Existing fire requirements for landlords
The Fire Safety Order 2005 already requires landlords of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) to conduct a risk assessment for fire safety. They should also have a mains-wired fire alarm, although the type of system depends on the property and the result of the landlord’s risk assessment
Furniture and furnishings in a rented property also need to comply with fire safety regulations. This includes beds, mattresses, armchairs, sofas, sofabeds, nursery and garden furniture, beanbags, scatter cushions and seat cushions and covers, which must carry a non-detachable manufacturer’s label indicating compliance with current fire safety regulations.
Make sure you get the right landlord insurance cover
At Alan Boswell Group we can help you understand the requirements as a landlord regarding fire safety, as well as providing comprehensive landlord insurance suitable for your property and needs. Our one-to-one personal service means that we can talk you through any questions you might have, and as you’ll usually always be dealing with the same person, we can easily keep track of any updates or changes. Our bespoke service also allows us to choose from the very best insurance providers to put together a package expressly tailored to your situation.
To speak to an adviser about your landlord insurance, call 01603 216399 today.
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