Yesterday I was presenting at a conference regarding the Building Safety Act 2022, and in listening to the speakers it struck me just how many changes and developments social housing providers are facing in relation to building and fire safety.
One of those changes has been the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which extended the obligations under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 to most social housing.
Whilst the actual requirements these regulations introduce were not a surprise (being posited initially in the Social Housing White Paper), the fact that they have come into force on 1 October 2022 with no statutory grace period is.
The requirements now apply (as of 1 October 2022) to all (non-exempt) occupied properties (including social housing properties) and not just properties that are let from that date.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has previously released guidance, which we wrote about here. The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) also has released guidance that states:
'We expect providers to be compliant with the regulations when they come into force on 1 October 2022, or to have plans in place to ensure their compliance in a prompt and timely way that mitigates any risk to tenants. Any provider with concerns about their ability to achieve compliance in a timely manner should self-refer to RSH.'
What is considered prompt and timely is likely to be situation specific but appears to be a very high threshold. Any provider with concerns about their ability to comply would be well advised to seek further advice and consider what action can be taken immediately to mitigate any risk to their residents. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lorna Kenyon-Pain.
Providers should be compliant with new smoke and carbon monoxide regulations from 1 October or have plans in place to ensure compliance.