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Compulsory smoke alarms in the rented sector

We wrote recently that it’s now compulsory to have smoke alarms in residential properties in France – but not in this country. But there has now been some news on this score: from October, landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, over 90 per cent of homes now have a smoke alarm and the vast majority of landlords provide one. This change in the law however will “ensure every tenant can be given this important protection”.

These days so many people rent rather than buy properties and this move is designed to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year. And people are at least four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.

The new law will require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of each tenancy. They will also have to install carbon monoxide alarms in high-risk rooms, such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed. Failure to do this would lead to ‘sanctions’ and they could face up to a £5,000 fine.

It’s a very good move.

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