The Government is reviewing legislation covering the “silent killer” carbon monoxide and will consider whether current laws requiring alarms in England are adequate.

Since October 2015 landlords and their agents have had to ensure that rented out properties are fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm in every room containing a solid fuel appliance.

It is also a requirement that a smoke alarm is fitted – and working - on each floor of a property that is used as living accommodation.

Checks must be made by the landlord or letting agent to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of the tenancy.

It is essential to comply with these rules and having an experienced, professional letting agent who understands all the intricacies is vital.

Fortunately the lettings staff at Greenslade Taylor Hunt are members of ARLA – the Association of Residential Lettings Agents. This professional body aims to drive up standards across the industry and adheres to the highest standard.

The Government review will consider whether alarms should be required for all methods of heating, the cost of alarms and new research on deaths caused by carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” as you can’t see it, taste it or smell it and it can kill quickly with no warning. Every year CO poisoning affects over 4,000 people in the UK and sadly kills around 40 people according to figures from the Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society.

If you are a landlord and require more information on keeping your property up-to-date with the latest legislation please contact your nearest GTH office.

Warning signs

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness, are similar to flu, food poisoning or a hangover; however, there are other signs to look for. If symptoms only occur when at home, or if other people in the home experience the same symptoms at the same time, this could be an indication of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other warning signs around the home are:

  • - lazy, yellow or orange flames - flames should be crisp and blue (note that some decorative-effect gas fires may burn with a yellow flame)
  • - dark staining on or around appliances
  • - pilot lights that frequently blow out
  • - increased condensation inside windows