Smoke Alarms

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  • Smoke Alarms

    Can anyone advise me whether the landlord has to provide a smoke alarm for the rented property? Also, if they supply a battery powered one, whose responsibility is it to change the battery.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply. Do you know how many has to be installed, i.e. is it just one for downstairs and one for upstairs? Also, do they need to supply fire blankets for the kitchen, and any other fire saftey things?

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mk85 View Post
        Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.
        Yes, and also see the new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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        • #5
          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/fire_safety.htm

          Shelter indicates that it could come under the tenant's responsibility for minor maintenance, such as changing a light bulb

          http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-3182.cfm

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          • #6
            According to the landlordzone info,

            "There is no compulsory requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in normal tenanted properties, but again, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area.

            Having made the decision to provide fire extinguishers though, the landlord or agent should then arrange for a 12 monthly service."

            Is this information out of date, then? And I take it that there are more stringent regulations for properties that require a HMO licence?

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            • #7
              If its a HMO then you also need to supply fire blankets and CO2 Fire Extinguishers, under the New HMO licensing laws. Although i'm not sure about houses rented to single households.

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              • #8
                One of my properties has two bedrooms and is ocupied by two ladies who are not related as joint tenants. With regard to the new HMO legislation, I contacted the environmental health department of the appropriate L.A. I was advised that this property, on their rules constituted a HMO but I was not (thank heavens) expected to be licenced. Their requiremnts boiled down to providing a fire blanket in the kitchen.

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mk85 View Post
                  Your Landlord does have to have a Fire Alarm installed. Its the Lanlords responsibilty to ensure the fire alarm is working correctly and should check it periodically. I do it once a week.
                  UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!
                    Just what I was thinking! Does mk85 really go round to see his tenant(s) every week in order to check their alarm?!

                    Personally, I get my tenants to sign the following release form at the start of a tenancy:

                    This property has been provided with a smoke alarm/s. At the commencement of this tenancy the smoke alarm/s have been fitted with new batteries and tested for correct operation.
                    Please be aware that the tenancy agreement requires that you as tenant/s ensure that the smoke alarm/s are operable at all times, to test for correct operation of the smoke alarm/s on a regular basis (suggest weekly) and to replace the batteries with new ones as and when required. In the event of a fault developing with a smoke alarm (ie it fails routine testing even with new battery) the landlord must be notified immediately.

                    .................................................. .................................................. .................................

                    I/we hereby confirm that the smoke alarm/s have been tested in our presence on entry to this tenancy and are in full working order. I/we fully accept our responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the smoke alarm/s throughout the term of our occupancy and hereby absolve the landlord and/or the managing agent from responsibility should I/we fail to comply.

                    Tenant signatures:

                    .................................................. .....



                    Date: ...............................................
                    And finally, I'm pretty sure that there is no regulation which states that a landlord has to provide smoke or fire alarms in a (non-HMO) tenanted house, unless it's been built recently or been refurbished to current building regs. I'll accept I could be wrong on that count (and personally I wouldn't dream of letting a house without smoke alarms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mk85 View Post
                      If its a HMO then you also need to supply fire blankets and CO2 Fire Extinguishers, under the New HMO licensing laws. Although i'm not sure about houses rented to single households.
                      It doesn't just apply to licensable HMO's, it also applies to other HMO's.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        all rented properties have to have smoke alarm, the tenant is expected to check it frequently. Surely this is just common sense? If an alarm has been provided, the tenant has a right to privacy in the property, so should therefore take resposiblity and check it themselves. There should be an alarm on each floor, also there really should be a c02 alarm fitted as well as standard.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by choices View Post
                          all rented properties have to have smoke alarm, the tenant is expected to check it frequently. Surely this is just common sense? If an alarm has been provided, the tenant has a right to privacy in the property, so should therefore take resposiblity and check it themselves. There should be an alarm on each floor, also there really should be a c02 alarm fitted as well as standard.
                          But unfortunately the law doesn't have much to do with common sense. The law, as has been said many times, is an ass.

                          If the LL has a smoke alarm fitted, and for whatever reason it fails to go off in a fire (even if the tenant's removed the battery), and the tenant gets fried having left his cigarette on the sofa, then the LL is potentially liable in the courts for failing to maintain the alarm.

                          If the LL didn't have a smoke alarm fitted at all, then he wouldn't be liable at all. (again, as far as I am aware).

                          Hence the reason for my arse-covering "release form" (as reccomended by the Residential Landlord's Association).

                          And PS - a CO2 alarm would go off every time a tenant has the temerity to exhale in the flat (so far no LLs I've heard of consider that to be a breach of tenancy conditions. ;-) Think you mean a CO alarm (and the same applies to that as smoke alarms)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                            UTTER RUBBISH AS A GENERAL COMMENT!
                            FACT 1: ITS THE LAW FOR THE LANDLORD TO PROVIDE WORKING FIRE ALARMS.

                            FACT 2: IT IS RECOMMENDED BY MOST FIRE BRIGADES TO TEST YOUR BATTERY POWERED FIRE ALARMS ONCE A WEEK.

                            and Ericthelobster, I dont go specifically to test the alarms but as i go to the houses to collect the rent weekly it only takes 30 seconds to push a test button to see if its working or not.

                            ...just another general comment!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                              But unfortunately the law doesn't have much to do with common sense. The law, as has been said many times, is an ass.

                              If the LL has a smoke alarm fitted, and for whatever reason it fails to go off in a fire (even if the tenant's removed the battery), and the tenant gets fried having left his cigarette on the sofa, then the LL is potentially liable in the courts for failing to maintain the alarm.

                              If the LL didn't have a smoke alarm fitted at all, then he wouldn't be liable at all. (again, as far as I am aware).

                              Hence the reason for my arse-covering "release form" (as reccomended by the Residential Landlord's Association).

                              And PS - a CO2 alarm would go off every time a tenant has the temerity to exhale in the flat (so far no LLs I've heard of consider that to be a breach of tenancy conditions. ;-) Think you mean a CO alarm (and the same applies to that as smoke alarms)

                              No; it's not the Law that's an ass but our fellow human beings- including at least some asinines who post here.
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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