Tenants in private rented accommodation across Hambleton will be further protected under a new set of guidelines to be introduced by the district council.

Legislation in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require private sector landlords to fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to properties – and to check them regularly.

The new regulations are enforced by the district council – and in order to levy penalty charges against landlords that do not conform, the authority’s Cabinet has this month (March) approved a ‘statement of principles’ to use to assess fines.

The legislation – which came into force in October last year – states that:

  • A smoke alarm is installed on every floor of a property where there is a room used for living accommodation
  • A carbon monoxide alarm is installed in every room used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning appliance
  • Checks are made at the beginning of a new tenancy

They do not apply to a number of cases – including social housing landlords, halls of residence and homes under long leases.

Where a local authority believes there has been a breach of the rules a remedial notice must be served requiring the landlord to take action within 28 days – they may also decide a fine of up to £5000 should be paid.

“Installing these alarms is essential for the well being of the people who live in rented accommodation and it is important that the council protects them from health threatening conditions within these homes,” said Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health, Councillor Brian Phillips.

“We now have a statement of principles to follow when determining the level of any fine. It gives tenants security regardless of the circumstances of their landlord.”

Members of the authority’s Full Council will ratify the Cabinet decision next month.