Checking battery operated smoke alarms

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  • Checking battery operated smoke alarms

    On my recent quest for information on LL legislation I found an article concerning who is responsible for checking the batteries in smoke alarms and that for avoidance of doubt in the unfortunate circumstances that they failed to work due to the batteries being faulty, the responsibility should be clearly stated in the terms of the AST.

    Having only last week had new tenants move in to my property I re-read the agreement………….following my recent unfortunate experience with non compliance and living overseas this is now organised through an agent……who I assumed would be up to date with the current situation………there was no mention that the batteries should be checked or who was responsible for checking them.

    I sent them a message immediately and they have instigated an amendment to the agreement and are also composing an instruction leaflet to be left at the property to avoid any doubt that the tenants have been advised they need to check the batteries and how to do it.

    Even in my previous non compliance days I used to remind my tenants of this regularly, their safety was important to me and surely lack of this type of conduct is more serious than deposit non compliance?

    Obviously the potential outcome of negligence of safety issues carries disastrous possibilities and high punishment of course and I am not trying to be flippant just making my point over innocent non compliance.

    The point I want to make here is this, I have now placed my tenancy with a professional and am making suggestions to them on the terms of the AST, if the professionals do not get it right all the time what hope does the small LL have?

    The other more important point to my post is that anyone who has an older property with battery operated smoke alarms should consider ensuring the tenants are advised to check the batteries and avoid any chance of doubt that the LL could be responsible for this.


  • #2
    There is a line of thought that says battery powered smoke alarms should not be in rental properties at all.

    Where there is no statutory requirement, it is an added liability for the landlord and can induce tenants to be less thoughtful of their safety (as proven by the need to remind them that they need to be checked)

    Where there is a statutory responsibility, it is for mains-powered alarms - indicating that the authorities agree that battery-powered is not a suitable solution for rental properties.


    • #3
      the terms of the tenancy will not make a difference as far your responsibilities as a landlord are concerned. in any case, alarms need to be hard wired rather than battery, especially if HMO. If the property isnt an HMO, then the duty of care lays on the tenant to supply their own alarms and test them.


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