SCOTTISH GOVERNMENTS GUIDANCE FOR FITTING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS FOR LANDLORDS IN SCOTLAND
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 amends the Repairing Standard (from the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006) to make landlords legally responsible for fitting carbon monoxide detectors in their properties.
The aim is to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and the resulting loss of life and serious injury.
The Scottish Government published guidance on how to comply with the legislation on 25 June 2015 and the legislation will come into force on 1st December 2015.
Eligibility: Over and above existing gas safety regulations, private landlords should ensure that all the properties they let to tenants have a carbon monoxide detector fitted regardless of when the tenancy started.
NOTE: Landlords can’t be held responsible for ensuring that detectors are in full working order throughout the tenancy if they haven’t been notified by the tenant or otherwise aware that there is a problem.
What you need to do:
Landlords should have a long-life battery or mains-powered detector (which complies with British Standard and European directives) in each room housing a carbon based fuel appliance (excluding those use solely for cooking) and in any living room or bedroom if a flue from these appliances runs through it.
Carbon based fuel appliances include gas/oil boiler, gas/oil fire, wood burning stove, heaters fuelled by oil or gas, or open coal fire and biomass.
NOTE: In apartment buildings with multiple owners where flues may pass through neighbouring properties it is not the responsibility of a landlord to install detectors in neighbouring properties. However, landlords should be aware of any potential risk which could result in gas escaping into other living spaces. If in doubt landlords should seek professional advice from their local council or a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
NOTE: A carbon monoxide detector is not needed where it’s not possible for carbon monoxide to get into the property. For instance, in an attached out-building or garage where there is no door or connection with the house.
Where a carbon based fuel appliance is located in a bathroom the detector should be placed outside the bathroom and as close to the appliance as possible but not where the detector can be effected by steam or air from the bathroom when the door is open.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be either fitted on a ceiling and positioned 300 mm from any wall or placed on a wall and positioned at 150 mm below the ceiling and higher than any door or window in the room.
The detectors should be placed between 1 and 3 metres from the carbon based fuel appliance.
NOTE: If the carbon based fuel appliance is situated in a small space such as a cupboard, the detector should be placed outside the cupboard between 1 and 3 metres from the appliance and detector. If the carbon based fuel appliance is situated in an attic, the detector should be placed between 1 and 3 metres from the appliance in the attic and another interlinked detector placed outside the attic near the attic hatch. If this is not possible, a detector should be situated outside the attic or as near to the attic as possible.
NOTE: For landlords who have a scheduled annual gas safety check they are allowed to arrange work to install detectors at the same time. As a result it is expected that within one year of the legislation coming into force all private rented properties in Scotland will have appropriate carbon monoxide detectors installed. If the detector is mains powered landlords should ensure that an inspection of the appliance is carried out every five years and before a new tenancy starts (unless there has been an inspection within the previous five years).
If a tenant or local council has told the landlord that a detector needs to be fitted and the landlord failed to act or there is a disagreement, they have the right to refer the matter to the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP).
If the PRHP inspects the property and decides that the landlord is not complying with the rules it will issue a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order (RSEO) outlining the work the landlord needs to do.
NOTE: Landlords won’t be able to take on any new tenants while the RSEO is in force without the permission of the PRHP.
Landlords will be given at least 21 days to complete the work (the order will specify the exact time limit).
NOTE: If the PRHP is satisfied the landlord is doing their best to get the work done they can extend this time limit.
The RSEO will be registered in the relevant Land Register and if landlords don’t comply with an RSEO within the time limit, the PRHP will inform the local council, who have the power to carry out the work and charge the landlord for it.
If landlords ignore an RSEO they could be fined up to £1,000. The local council may also decide to remove landlords from the Landlord Register. The PRHP may also make a Rent Relief Order, which could reduce the rent payable under the tenancy by up to 90% until the work is carried out.