Calling all landlords, if you weren’t already aware, as of 1 October 2015 the law states that both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are to be installed in rented residential accommodation.
If your property doesn’t have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm, in the event your tenants suffer carbon monoxide poisoning you could face an occupier’s liability compensation claim.
This legislation is in place for good reason: health and safety. Gov.uk state approximately 670 injuries a year are caused by a lack of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. The NHS estimates approximately 40 deaths and 4,000 visits to A and E are the result of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. It is likely that many of these cases could have been avoided with a working carbon monoxide alarm.
This is something the requirement for landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should improve even further. The law comes as part of wider government initiatives to protect public safety. Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, stated: “The vast majority of landlords offer a good service and have installed smoke alarms in their homes, but I’m changing the law to ensure every tenant can be given this important protection.”
A big difference between carbon monoxide and smoke is that, without a detector, you would not be aware of a carbon monoxide leak until the symptoms began to manifest. This is because carbon monoxide is both odourless and invisible.
Our advice to all landlords is, even if you believe the appliances in your property have been correctly installed and recently tested, to make carbon monoxide awareness a priority for the safety of your tenants.
Slater and Gordon principal lawyer, Madelene Holdsworth, commented: “This law is a welcome change. Too many tragic fatalities could have been avoided had there been a carbon monoxide detector. This new legislation will hopefully see a decline in the number of personal injuries sustained from carbon monoxide in the future.”
If you suffer carbon monoxide poisoning and it is not your fault, Slater and Gordon Lawyers represent people in all types of occupier’s liability claims. For a free consultation call our no win, no fee solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.