Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 - Smoke Alarms
The Renting Homes Wales Act requirements for smoke alarms falls under the Fitness for Human Habitation Standards. The presence of smoke alarms in properties is obviously intended to reduce the risk of fire and associated smoke and any consequent injury or loss of life. Without a smoke alarm fitted an occupier is at least four times more likely to die.
What are the requirements?
The FFHH Regulations require a smoke alarm, in proper working order, to be present on every storey of a property. Landlords must also ensure every smoke alarm is in proper working order, connected to the electrical supply and inter-linked with all other smoke alarms fitted.
To ensure that this requirement is met, the opportunity to test smoke alarms should be sought e.g. whilst carrying out a necessary repair or electrical testing in the property.
Depending on the size of the property landlords may consider it appropriate to ensure the presence of more than one smoke alarm to each storey. Landlords may also consider it appropriate to fit an additional heat alarm in the kitchen area. Smoke alarms should be sited where they can be heard by the occupier when asleep, usually a hall and landing area.
The fire service provides guidance on the type of alarms available and their fitting. In addition, BS 5839 (part 6) sets out the requirements for the proper fitting of smoke alarms in domestic properties.
A landlord must note the manufacturer’s recommended life span of a fire alarm, which will depend on the alarm. An alarm which has passed its expiry date may not be fully operational and incapable of detecting smoke.
How long do you have to comply?
The regulations on smoke alarms and electrical safety requirements apply to all new Occupation Contracts created on or after 15th July 2022. An existing tenancy agreement which has converted to an occupation contract will not be required to meet the smoke alarm and electrical safety requirements for a period of up to twelve months from the date of conversion. i.e. until 15th July 2023. This exemption will no longer apply should the converted contract end.
More information is available at https://gov.wales/fitness-homes-human-habitation-guidance-landlords-html but if you have any questions regarding what this means for you and how Smart Lettings can help you please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing email@example.com
Rents have also risen more in Wales than anywhere else in the UK in the last 12 months and if you’re looking for an up to date valuation of your rental property visit www.smart-lettings.co.uk or call us on 01656 657033 to request a valuation and we’ll arrange to meet you and discuss how we can help.