The government has responded to a consultation conducted in 2021 in respect of proposed changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
Currently, a carbon monoxide alarm is only required in a room with a solid fuel appliance (such as a log burner) where the property is in England.
87% of respondents supported a proposal to amend the regulations to require landlords to install a CO alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance of any fuel type (excluding gas cookers) is used. This includes boilers.
The government has said in their response that they intend to bring forward these changes.
The government notes the strong support for the proposal to require private and social landlords to install CO alarms in rooms with fixed combustion appliances (excluding gas cookers). We agree that it is vital for residents in both private and social rented homes to be protected from the dangers of CO poisoning, and we will bring forward these changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 as soon as parliamentary time allows.
In addition, the regulations will be amended to create a new requirement that landlords will repair or replace CO alarms once they are informed of a fault. 93% of respondents agreed with that recommendation in the consultation. It’s unclear if this duty will extend to smoke alarms (but we can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t be).
We will also create a new requirement for both private and social landlords to repair or replace CO alarms once informed that they are faulty.
It will remain the duty of tenants to regularly test alarms but updated guidance will highlight annual testing by landlords as best practice.
We do not intend to mandate landlords to test alarms during a tenancy, however we will use the guidance document to highlight annual testing by landlords as best practice.
Furthermore, it seems there will be no phasing in of the amended regulations, and as such may become a requirement as soon as the amended regulations commence.
New requirements will commence as soon as practicable after the legislation is made. Whilst we do acknowledge that a phased approach could help landlords to implement the changes, we are concerned that any delay could impact on resident safety. We do not believe it would be justified to delay commencement. The process of passing the new regulations through Parliament will provide an additional period for landlords to comply before they come into effect.
We have more information about smoke and CO alarms for England here.