Alarms now compulsory in private rented homes

Smoke alarm.

Smoke alarm.

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New regulations come into force today meaning private landlords will become responsible for fitting smoke alarms on each level of their properties.

Where the property has a solid fuel heating appliance installed they will also have to supply a carbon monoxide detector. It will be the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy and failure to comply with the legislation could result in a £5,000 fine.

In preparation for the new regulations, which came into effect today, each fire authority was allocated a limited number of alarms to distribute, free, to private landlords.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) and Northumberland County Council’s private sector housing team have worked together to reach as many private landlords as possible and have already distributed more than 1,000 smoke alarms to help landlords meet the requirements of the new regulations. The entire allocation of 260 carbon monoxide alarms has already been distributed.

The private sector housing team has been working with landlords to raise property and management standards through a voluntary property accreditation scheme since 2009.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member responsible for housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “Providing smoke detectors has always been a requirement of our accreditation scheme and the vast majority of landlords understand their responsibility to make sure that their properties provide a safe and comfortable home for their tenants. We are pleased that we have been able to help private landlords comply with the new legislation and hope that more of them will also take the opportunity to join our free property accreditation scheme.”

NFRS Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett added: “Our continued partnership work with the private sector housing team ensures we are maximising opportunities to keep the people of Northumberland safe. This is also an effective way of providing support to landlords ahead of the new legislation”.

Private landlords who need help to meet the requirements of the new regulations should contact 01670 623071 or email privatesectorhousing@northumberland.gov.uk