As a landlord in Northern Ireland, staying informed about the latest regulations that affect your properties is crucial. The safety and well-being of your tenants is essential, and ensuring compliance with new requirements is a fundamental aspect of your responsibilities. One such set of regulations that you need to be aware of is the Smoke, Heat, and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Private Tenancies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2024. These regulations come into effect at the end of 2023 and introduce significant changes aimed at enhancing tenant safety. In this blog, we will break down the key aspects of these regulations, including their scope of application, implementation timeline, alarm requirements, maintenance, and more.
Scope of Application:
The new regulations will apply to any residential property utilising various heating methods, including gas heating, oil heating, bottled gas, open fires, or gas/wood burners. It’s important to understand whether your property falls under these regulations to ensure compliance.
Property owners are required to comply with these regulations within a strict two-month timeframe from the commencement of Section 8 of the Private Tenancies Act. Non-compliance may result in fines of up to £2,500, so it’s crucial to be prepared and act promptly.
For properties with a fixed combustion appliance, such as a gas boiler, oil boiler, open or gas fire, or stove powered by coal, oil, gas, or wood, specific alarm installations are mandatory:
- Smoke Alarms: A smoke alarm is required in every living room, except in open-plan kitchens. Additionally, smoke alarms must be installed in every hall and landing.
- Heat Alarm: A heat alarm must be installed in the kitchen.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm: A carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in the area where the fixed combustion appliance is located. This includes garages if the boiler is situated there and the garage is integral to or connecting with the house (having a door into the house).
Landlords must ensure the following regarding the alarms:
- All alarms must be in working order at the beginning of each new tenancy. The tenant should sign off on the condition of the alarms during the check-in process.
- Alarms must be replaced promptly when notified of any faults.
- Alarms must be replaced before reaching their manufacturer’s expiration date.
Interlinking and Installation:
- Smoke and heat alarms must be interlinked.
- Alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated (sealed), or a combination of both.
- It is the responsibility of electricians to ensure that hardwired smoke alarms comply with building control standards.
- If a boiler is located in a bathroom, it should be appropriately marked. The carbon monoxide detector should be fitted outside the room, as close to the boiler as possible.
- In the event of property renovation, it is crucial to note that all alarms must be hardwired to meet the requirements.
These regulations are aimed at enhancing tenant safety and well-being in rental properties across Northern Ireland. Landlords are encouraged to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with these regulations within the specified timeframe and adhering to these regulations will help you fulfill your duty of care.
If you require assistance with the installation, repair, or service of your smoke, heat, and CO detectors/systems to meet these new regulations, don’t hesitate to get in touch with solv. Our team of professionals is here to ensure your property complies with the latest safety standards, keeping your tenants safe and your investment secure. Your tenants’ well-being is our priority. Contact us today to schedule your service or installation.