July 2, 2024

New requirements for smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms in private rental properties

In 2022, we published an overview on the new legislation for landlords, the Private Tenancies Act (NI) 2022. Now this Act has come into force, new regulations for Landlords are being gradually introduced.

The most recent set of regulations that landlords must be aware of are The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Private Tenancies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2024. These regulations aim to improve tenant safety across Northern Ireland.

What are the new requirements?

The regulations set out minimum safety alarm standards that must be met in a rental property:

Smoke alarms:

  • Must be installed in the room used as a living space by the occupants during the day (i.e. the living room or open plan lounge)
  • Must be installed in all circulation spaces (i.e. the hall and any landings)

Heat alarms:

  • Must be installed in every kitchen
  • Must be installed in living rooms that contain an open fireplace making a smoke alarm impractical

Carbon Monoxide alarms:

  • Must be installed in any room or space containing a combustion appliance (this is any apparatus that burns fuel to generate heat such as a boiler, wood burner or stove)
  • Must be installed in any room a flue is passing through

All alarms must be either tamper-proof or hard wired, and appropriately maintained. Smoke and heat alarms must be interlinked.

Who is responsible for meeting the requirements?

It’s important to be aware that the landlord will always be ultimately responsible for meeting these requirements even if they employ an agent. If you pay someone to manage your property, they need to be aware of the new regulations.

A tenant is responsible for regularly testing of the alarms in the property and making their landlord/agent aware of any faults. Tenants also have the right to report any landlord not complying with the regulations to their local council.

How long do I have to comply?

If you grant a tenancy before 1st September 2024, your deadline for compliance is the 1st December 2024.

For any tenancy granted on or after 1 September 2024, you must be compliant with the regulations at the start of the tenancy.

Maclaine & Co provide expert legal advice and guidance in the area of landlord and tenant law. Our dedicated professionals can advise you on all aspects of property ownership or tenancy to ensure that your best interests are always protected.

How can we help?

Send us your contact information and one of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

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