New regulations to protect renters from carbon monoxide poisoning welcomed

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar, who before Christmas expressed concern that currently there are no legal requirements for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in rented accommodation, has welcomed news this week that new regulations are to be introduced.

Mr Millar raised the matter in the Welsh Parliament at the beginning of December, and was told that the Minister for Housing and Local Government would write to him “…with the latest update in terms of the standards that we do require for rented accommodation, but with a particular focus on the importance of carbon monoxide testers”.

This week he received the promised correspondence from the Minister and was delighted to be told new regulations set to be implemented will include additional requirements for landlords to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years.

The Minister’s letter states: “Section 91 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, once implemented, will require landlords to ensure their dwelling is fit for human habitation. Furthermore, section 94 of the Act requires the Welsh Ministers to make regulations relating to the determination of whether a dwelling is fit for human habitation

These regulations will include additional requirements for landlords to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years. With specific regard to carbon monoxide detectors, at least one will be required in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance. Failure, by a landlord, to comply with this requirement will mean the dwelling is considered unfit for human habitation, regardless of any other actions taken by the landlord.”

Welcoming the proposed changes, Mr Millar said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to hear that new regulations will be coming into force to ensure that landlords install carbon monoxide testers in their properties, and that the Minister is committed to ensuring they are implemented by the end of this Assembly term.

 “Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colourless, odourless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect. Unfortunately many people across Wales still do not know enough about its dangers and it continues to claims lives or leave people with long-term chronic health problems.

“Currently 60 people a year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands are hospitalised. Hopefully these new regulations will help to reduce that figure.”