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Monday, February 16, 2015

Smoke alarms in rental properties

Fire Chiefs have again called for all landlords to install smoke alarms in all rental properties.

Currently they are only legally required in HMO properties. The current guidelines on fire safety in rental properties make no requirement for the general provision of a fire alarm. However, a law was proposed last year by Shadow Environment Minister Nick Raynsford calling for the mandatory installation of a fire alarm in all privately rented properties.

Chair of the LGA's fire services management committee, Cllr Jeremy Hilton, said:

 ‘Many people will be shocked that most landlords are not obliged to install smoke alarms. The current laws are outdated and inadequate - and without question lives are being put at risk.' 
'While the majority of private landlords are reputable and voluntarily install alarms, there are a small minority who don't, needlessly putting lives at risk. They have a duty of care to ensure their tenants are safe. This is why we are calling on the Government to enact the law and ensure all private landlords install smoke alarms - and save hundreds of lives every year. '

Property Hawks view 

In our view smoke alarms are a good thing but their are two flaws in making this requirement mandatory.

1. Home owners are not legally responsible for having a fire alarm in their property. There are far more home owners than landlords and any government that is serious about reducing fatalities through fire should act equally for both sets of home owners.
2. Tenants are quite able to install their own fire alarms if they require them. A battery operated fire alarm costs a few pounds and take moments to put up. Why should it fall to a buy-to-let landlord to carry out the work and then have the added legal responsibility of ensuring that they are maintained.

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2 comments:

The_Maluka said...

The local fire service installed eleven year smoke alarms in all 100 of my properties. One month later half had been vandalised for the {useless} battery and six months later none remained. How can any sane government hold a landlord responsible for the actions of tenants?

amy khan said...

No, they cannot and if all the smoke alarms have been lost, then they need to install it again from one of the reputed fire alarm or smoke alarm installer of London.