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.
From today (1 October), 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 four 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.”
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 will be published that 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.