A race against time: Just two weeks to fit smoke alarms in all rental properties

The clock is now ticking fast after the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations were finally passed in Parliament.

Agents and landlords have only until October 1 to ensure that each floor of a rental property has a working smoke alarm, and that living spaces with solid fuel appliances have carbon monoxide alarms.

ARLA warned that it is “simply impracticable” for agents managing large portfolios to comply in time.
The green light for the Regulations came after the House of Lords last week refused to rubber stamp them – throwing into doubt whether they would be implemented in their current form, and if so when.

The Lords said there had not been nearly enough publicity about the Regulations and that they were badly drafted.

However, after final scrutiny, the peers decided to give the Regulations the go-ahead. The House of Commons also gave approval.

Yesterday, David Cox, managing director of ARLA, criticised the tight timescale.

He said: “Whilst ARLA is entirely supportive of the aims of the Regulations, we remain concerned that the Government has ignored calls from across the private rented sector to reconsider the timeframe for its implementation.

“Whilst these measures are entirely sensible, ARLA is concerned that landlords will not have enough time to comply with the requirements, as it is simply impracticable for letting agents, who may
manage a huge amounts of properties, to gain access to the properties and to install these alarms on behalf of their clients in the timeframe allotted.

“On behalf of its members, ARLA has written to the Government on this issue to raise its concerns and suggested that all existing tenancies should be allowed to have until January 1 to comply. We were encouraged to see that Lord Marlesford showed support for our proposals in Parliament and again put our suggestion to the Government. However, despite our efforts it appears that the Government will now go ahead and implement the new requirements as planned. We urge our members to ensure that they do all they can to ensure that their properties comply with the new regulations before the measures come into effect.”