To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that tenants in the private rented sector are better protected from risks from (a) electricity, (b) gas, (c) faulty smoke detectors and (d) carbon monoxide.
Landlords have a duty to keep electrical installations in proper working order and to ensure that any electrical appliances supplied with a property are safe, as set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must ensure all gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants’ use are maintained in a safe condition and an annual safety check must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
In addition to this, the Government is currently working to introduce requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in private rented sector properties. The draft Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were announced and laid in March, under section 150 of the Energy Act 2013. If approved by Parliament, they will come into force on 1 October 2015 and require private rented sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in a room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. After that, the landlord must ensure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
The Government is also empowering tenants through its How to Rent Guide, last updated in May 2015, by raising tenants’ awareness of what their rights and responsibilities are.