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Smoke and Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (as amended) Statement of Principles

Introduction

Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (as amended), a landlord must ensure that during any period beginning on or after 1 October 2022 when the premises are occupied under a specified tenancy that:

  • a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a fixed combustion appliance other than a gas cooker
  • checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy
  • where, following a report made on or after 1 October 2022 by a tenant or their nominated representative to the landlord, a prescribed alarm is found not to be in proper working order, the alarm is repaired or replaced

Enforcement

Where the Local Housing Authority ('the Authority') has reasonable grounds to believe one or more of the following:

  • there are no or insufficient number of smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms in the property as required by the regulations
  • the smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms were not working at the start of a tenancy or licence
  • following a report to the landlord that the smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms are not in proper working order, the landlord has failed to determine whether the prescribed alarm is in proper working order or has not been repaired or replaced

Then the Authority must within 21 days serve on the landlord in a method prescribed by the Regulations, a Remedial Notice detailing the actions the landlord must take to comply with the Regulations.

A Remedial Notice gives a landlord 28 days from the date the Notice is served to take action to comply with the Remedial Notice or to make written representations against the Remedial Notice.

Where representations are made by the landlord in relation to the Remedial Notice, the Authority must consider these representations. At this point, the Remedial Notice is suspended from the day following the receipt of representations until the Authority considers the written representations, and until they inform the landlord in writing of the outcome of this consideration. Landlords are not expected to take remedial action during the period of the remedial notice being suspended.

Where the decision of the Authority is to confirm the Remedial Notice, then the suspension of the Notice is lifted. The landlord must then comply with the requirements of the Remedial Notice within 21 days.

If after 28 days (or 21 days following a response made to a representation that the Remedial Notice remains valid or is amended) the landlord has not complied with the Remedial Notice then the Authority can require the landlord to pay a Penalty Charge. Where the Authority decides to impose a Penalty Charge it must serve a Penalty Charge Notice within 6 weeks beginning with the day on which the Authority is first satisfied that the landlord has not complied with the Remedial Notice.

Principles to be followed in determining the amount of a Penalty Charge

The level of the Penalty Charge will be determined by including the following:

  • officer costs incurred in determining whether any remedial action is required
  • officer costs incurred in the preparation and service of a remedial action notice
  • the cost incurred in undertaking the remedial work
  • officer costs incurred for the arrangement of remedial work
  • officer costs incurred in the preparation and service of a penalty charge notice
  • a fine

The Authority considers that on the occasion of a first offence and upon prompt payment of that Penalty Charge on that first occasion, this should attract a reduction of 25% of the fine in recognition of proportionality and early admission of liability.

Repeated offences should attract a progressively higher penalty in view of continuing disregard for legal requirements and tenant safety.

 

 

Level of penalty charge

The Penalty Charge shall be set at £1,000 for the first offence but this will be reduced by 25% to £750 if paid within a 14 day period. Should the Landlord not comply with future Remedial Notices then the fine shall be set as detailed below:

OffenceCharge
Second£2,000
Subsequent offences£5,000

 

No discount will be given for prompt payment after the first occasion.

Recovery or Penalty Charge

The local housing authority may recover the penalty charge as laid out in the Regulations. If court proceedings become necessary to recover outstanding Penalty Charges, then the Authority will also seek to recover all reasonably incurred costs.

Appeals in relation to a penalty charge notice

The landlord can request in writing, in a period that must not be less than 28 days beginning with the day on which the penalty notice was served, that the local housing authority review the Penalty Charge Notice.

The local housing authority must consider any representation and decide whether to confirm, vary or withdraw the penalty charge notice. A landlord who is served with a notice confirming or varying a penalty charge notice may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the local housing authority's decision.