how often do landlords have to test smoke alarm?

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    how often do landlords have to test smoke alarm?

    Hi all,

    I test the smoke alarms installed at the start of every tenancy in my properties, on the first day specified in the AST of a NEW tenancy - by new I mean different people moving in, not a new AST with the same people staying on from a previous AST (which I class as a renewal). Is this procedure correct? Below is what the government site defines as a "new" tenancy, and they state you have to test the alarms for 'new' tenancies only.

    "New tenancy
    A ‘new tenancy’ is a tenancy agreement that begins on or after 1 October 2015 and is not a renewal of a previous tenancy agreement."


    As above. I check them and fit new ones if more than a few years old at the start of new tenancy, if not replaced they get cleaned (vaccum) and new battery. Same with CO alarms.

    Every inspection I push the button to prove they work.. Last inspection tenant had removed batteries from BOTH smoke/CO alarms.. Wrote them up on that (was a perfect inspection other than that)



      Though I do tend to remind tenants intermittently of their responsibilities including this). When I do an inspection I normally do casually test and check that alarms are not-expired (but that is only incidental and I would do so only to remind tenants that they need to do so)


        OK thanks guys. So we don't need to test them at the start of a fresh AST, which is a renewal from a previous AST?


          No, there's no need.

          You have to test them on the first day of a new tenancy, and there has to be some process agreed with the tenant that they will test them and replace any dead batteries (which is covered off as another unread term in the tenancy agreement).
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


            Originally posted by fandango View Post

            "New tenancy
            A ‘new tenancy’ is a tenancy agreement that begins on or after 1 October 2015 and is not a renewal of a previous tenancy agreement."
            Sounds like that is the definition for a specific piece of legislation (maybe deregulation act?) and not a general definition.

            Where did you see it?


              In the section about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for landlords! From 2015


                The legislation is The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 .

                Regulation 4 states:
                (1) A relevant landlord in respect of a specified tenancy must ensure that—
                (a) during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 when the premises are occupied under the tenancy—
                (i) a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation;
                (ii) a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and
                (b) checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.
                (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a bathroom or lavatory is to be treated as a room used as living accommodation.
                (3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), a tenancy begins on the day on which, under the terms of the tenancy, the tenant is entitled to possession under that tenancy.
                (4) In this regulation—
                “new tenancy” means a tenancy granted on or after 1st October 2015, but does not include—
                (a) a tenancy granted in pursuance of an agreement entered into before that date;
                (b) a periodic shorthold tenancy which arises under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988(1) on the coming to an end of a fixed term shorthold tenancy;
                (c) a tenancy which comes into being on the coming to an end of an earlier tenancy, under which, on its coming into being—
                (i) the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end; and
                (ii) the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time;

                (1)(b) says you must do it.

                (4)(c) says you do not have to do it if you are signing a new agreement for the same tenant and same property.

                (4) (c) suggests that if one of the tenants changes, then you may need to re-test at that time, and you will need to retest if you issue a new tenancy agreement i the future to include that new tenant.


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