Residents who rent homes from private landlords are being encouraged by Chesterfield Borough Council to ensure their landlord is complying with new smoke alarm fire regulations.
Since October last year all private landlords have been required to ensure there is at least one working smoke alarm on every floor of each property they rent and also carbon monoxide monitors in any room containing a solid fuel burning device.
Any landlord not complying with the rules will be issued with a remedial action notice by Chesterfield Borough Council, which requires them to carry out the work within a set period of time.
Landlords who fail to comply with this notice will get a £2,500 penalty charge, reduced to £1,250 if they pay within 14 days. If they commit a second offence they will receive a £5,000 penalty charge, reduced to £2,500 if they pay within 14 days.
It is estimated that the new law will prevent 26 deaths and 670 fire related injuries each year across England as people are four times more likely to die in a fire in a home where there is no working smoke alarm.
Councillor Tom Murphy, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “These new rules will save lives so it is vital that private landlords comply with them.
“While most private landlords are responsible and will have ensured the regulations are complied with there will be others who have not yet installed working smoke alarms or carbon monoxide monitors.
“We want to raise awareness of the new regulations so that anyone who is renting from a private landlord and is living in a home which hasn’t got a working smoke alarm or carbon monoxide monitor can take action to ensure they and their family are protected.
“It’s also really important that once landlords have installed smoke alarms or carbon monoxide monitors that tenants regularly test them to ensure they are working and, if they are battery operated ones, replace batteries when needed.
“Anyone who needs advice or wants to report a landlord that isn’t complying with the regulations should contact us. If you are a private landlord who genuinely wasn’t aware of the new regulations you can also contact us and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue for advice on what to do.”
Private tenants can seek advice or report landlords not complying with the legislation by ringing the council on (01246) 345748.
All council and housing association homes have had to operate to similar fire and carbon monoxide standards for many years.