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Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

Covering Market, Trends, and Practical (but see LEMON-AID for Building & DIY)
mc2fool
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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519561

Postby mc2fool » August 3rd, 2022, 6:33 pm

modellingman wrote:
Mike4 wrote:
mc2fool wrote:
monabri wrote:Looking back at the previous tenants contract (2018) , the requirement to change batteries falls on the tenant.

As I say very early in the thread:
mc2fool wrote:What does your lease say (if anything) on such maintenance?

All other pontifications are irrelevant if the lease specifies who is responsible for what in regards to smoke alarms. (Provided all such clauses in the lease are within the law, of course.)


Disagree!

I reckon the manufacturer’s instruction manual trumps anything the AST says.


I also disagree (and therefore agree with Mike4).

The lease is the contract between the tenant and landlord. The instruction manual is not. If there are clauses in the lease that violate any legislation that is another matter and nothing to do with the instruction manual.

As I said in my post that the two of you are disagreeing with, "(Provided all such clauses in the lease are within the law, of course.)".

The instruction manual does not have any legal power over the lease and so cannot "trump" it. It of course may be the case that if the matter goes to court then the judge will take what the instruction manual says into consideration, but none of this alters my very basic point that the OP is asking "might the landlord be trying to make us do work for which they are responsible?" and the very first thing the OP should do is see what it says in their lease. Only then can it be decided if it's reasonable/legal etc.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519567

Postby Lootman » August 3rd, 2022, 6:44 pm

modellingman wrote:
Mike4 wrote:
mc2fool wrote:
monabri wrote:Looking back at the previous tenants contract (2018) , the requirement to change batteries falls on the tenant.

As I say very early in the thread:
mc2fool wrote:What does your lease say (if anything) on such maintenance?

All other pontifications are irrelevant if the lease specifies who is responsible for what in regards to smoke alarms. (Provided all such clauses in the lease are within the law, of course.)

Disagree!

I reckon the manufacturer’s instruction manual trumps anything the AST says.

I also disagree (and therefore agree with Mike4).

I think it was over a decade ago that the Office of Fair Trading brought tenancy agreements within the scope of consumer protection legislation, specifically protections from unfair contracts. As a result of this previous restrictions in tenancy agreements, eg on keeping pets are now often written as eg "no pets allowed except with the consent of the landlord, which must not be unreasonably withheld."

If a tenancy agreement attempts to impose an obligation which is patently unreasonable - such obliging a tenant to service a smoke alarm which the manufacturer states should only be serviced by a qualified electrician - then that is unreasonable and therefore unenforceable. If the argument is that the tenant should pay for the electrician rather than attempting it him/herself then that, of course, falls foul of the Tenant Fees Act.

Interestingly, the clause quoted by monabri has probably been written by the office junior in whichever office produced it. How can the activity of replacing batteries be both regularly undertaken and undertaken as necessary? It is one or the other but not both.

Yes, I recall being told that there were a good number of clauses in the standard leases that I used to use that were not enforceable, and therefore were rather empty prescriptions.

Of course a lot of tenants don't know that so you can often get away with it. But I always took the view that my leases were a guide rather than necessarily a mandate. People will sign anything to get a home they want, but that doesn't mean you can compel them to comply once they move in. Basically if you can't evict them for breaking a clause in your lease, then that clause is worthless.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519584

Postby XFool » August 3rd, 2022, 7:13 pm

monabri wrote:We've just rented out a property...the tenant's covenants state.?

Image

Looking back at the previous tenants contract (2018) , the requirement to change batteries falls on the tenant.

However, I personally would sort it out myself and not rely on a tenant..!

A bit picky, I agree, but to me the phrase "to regularly replace the batteries" implies a standalone battery operated device, where you would expect to have to replace the batteries regularly "as necessary". But, with a mains operated unit, you wouldn't expect to replace the batteries "regularly".

Legal niceties! I have no idea...

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519650

Postby Mike4 » August 3rd, 2022, 10:25 pm

XFool wrote:
monabri wrote:We've just rented out a property...the tenant's covenants state.?

Image

Looking back at the previous tenants contract (2018) , the requirement to change batteries falls on the tenant.

However, I personally would sort it out myself and not rely on a tenant..!

A bit picky, I agree, but to me the phrase "to regularly replace the batteries" implies a standalone battery operated device, where you would expect to have to replace the batteries regularly "as necessary". But, with a mains operated unit, you wouldn't expect to replace the batteries "regularly".

Legal niceties! I have no idea...



And I hold that few posters in this thread are attaching enough significance to the fact that the batteries in these particular alarms are rechargeable. The whole point of rechargeable batteries is they do not need replacing. Or they need replacing less frequently than a whole kitemarked alarm, so the premise of the thread seems very odd to me.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519654

Postby Dod101 » August 3rd, 2022, 10:47 pm

The point about 4.7.4 is surely that it is in the tenant's interest for him to be testing the alarm and furthermore that it avoids the landlord traipsing through the property 'at regular intervals' to test the alarm himself.

The real point is though, and I am sure the OP now knows this is that he should be turning the matter back to the landlord and getting them to attend to the matter themselves, either personally or getting an electrician along. Testing the alarm needs no special skill nor does changing a battery, but what the OP is being asked to do is not something I would want to do as a tenant (or as a landlord actually.)

Dod

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519822

Postby DiamondEcho » August 4th, 2022, 2:42 pm

I'd said to wife that if we're lucky we'll get a reply that's helpful, meanwhile the topic has 25 posts in it! TYAVM :lol:

There are many very interesting points made and I think I need to consider where my starting point is, which might steer me towards the later steps. For a start, having re-read the TA, I'll copy here any clauses there that might be relevant.

'Tenant’s Obligations
- ‘Not to tamper, interfere with, alter or add to the gas, water or electrical installations or meters, either in or serving the premises.’

- To take care to replace or have replaced appropriately, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, fuses etc. as and when necessary during the tenancy and to ensure that all light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, fuses are in place and in working order at the end of the tenancy.

- To test at regular intervals any battery operated smoke alarms fitted in the premises and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working. If the alarm is not working after the fitting of a new battery, to promptly inform the landlord or his agent.

- To notify the landlord or his agent as immediately as is practicable of any defect, damage or disrepair which develops or occurs at the premises which might be, or might reasonably be expected to become, a hazard or danger to life or limb or to the fabric of the premises itself. The tenant must not carry out or authorise repairs himself except to take reasonable steps in an emergency to restrict or diminish such immediate dangers or damage.

Landlord’s Obligations
- To comply with the requirements of section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which imposes obligations on the landlord to repair the structure and exterior (including drains, gutters and external pipes) of the premises; to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the premises for supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of water, gas or electricity); to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the premises for space heating and heating water. In determining the standard of repair required by the landlord under this clause, regard shall be had to the age, character and prospective life of the premises and the locality in which it is situated.

- To take reasonable steps to ensure that the landlord’s domestic gas and electrical appliances and other similar mechanical appliances in the premises for which he is responsible are safe, in proper working order and in repair both at commencement of, and during the tenancy, as may be necessary from time to time in order to comply with the landlords obligations under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets etc., (Safety) Regulations 1994.
'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few other points:
-The property is a house in England.
-The local Environmental Health website includes this: 'Your landlord is obliged to check that these alarms are in working order on the day your tenancy begins, but you should check them regularly as well. The legislation applies to existing tenancies as well as new ones.' I have seen elsewhere the recommendation that landlords perform such checks at hand-over and that fact is 'signed for' by the tenant as evidence. In our case no such checks by the landlord took place.
-The alarms had rung many times one night last week. An electrician who had clearly worked on them before attended. He removed one expired head from the property, but confirmed the minimum standards of [roughly/from memory] one detector head per floor are met. He did not inspect or test the back-up batteries. It was only later when the alarms continued to sound he (via the LL/Letting agent) suggested we change the detector-head back-up batteries and the steps how to do it. My immediate thought was - Err, why didn't you test the back-up batteries and replace them as necessary?

I feel it might be that asking the LL/agent for the user guide for the detector heads would be a productive starting point; ie to confirm whether it's a consumer task. With all the hazard warnings they tend to begin with these days that might clearly rule out me intervening myself.

Might this, from the TO's above, be a second starting point?
'The tenant must not carry out or authorise repairs himself except to take reasonable steps in an emergency to restrict or diminish such immediate dangers or damage.'

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519837

Postby kiloran » August 4th, 2022, 3:40 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:[i]- ‘Not to tamper, interfere with, alter or add to the gas, water or electrical installations or meters, either in or serving the premises.’

I would say the mains-operated smoke alarms fit into this category

DiamondEcho wrote:- To test at regular intervals any battery operated smoke alarms fitted in the premises and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working. If the alarm is not working after the fitting of a new battery, to promptly inform the landlord or his agent.

The smoke alarms are not battery operated, they are mains operated.

I reckon this is a landlord issue, not yours.

--kiloran

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#519844

Postby mc2fool » August 4th, 2022, 4:12 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:-The alarms had rung many times one night last week. An electrician who had clearly worked on them before attended. He removed one expired head from the property, but confirmed the minimum standards of [roughly/from memory] one detector head per floor are met. He did not inspect or test the back-up batteries. It was only later when the alarms continued to sound he (via the LL/Letting agent) suggested we change the detector-head back-up batteries and the steps how to do it. My immediate thought was - Err, why didn't you test the back-up batteries and replace them as necessary?

Indeed. Although the fact that it's the electrician that's providing the information on how to change the batteries would indicate (albeit perhaps incorrectly) that it isn't a "qualified electrician only" job.

Having said that, I do agree with kiloran. However, before getting legalistic with the agent/landlord, I'd say just start off with the gentle approach of "Sorry, but I don't feel comfortable or competent in doing that" and asking for the electrician to return to do it. Gotta be worth a try....

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520241

Postby DiamondEcho » August 5th, 2022, 10:45 pm

It continues:
------------------------
My reply to the managing agent: >>

'Removing the detector heads is not intuitive and is physically difficult, it's not at all clear how they detach. I've never seen their kind before and I don't want to damage them, they're no longer manufactured. It would also require successful isolation from the mains at the consumer unit and I'm not comfortable in doing that; I don't have the knowledge to ensure if the power is off on the correct circuit. Furthermore the tenancy agreement does state that we're not to interfere with the electrical installations.
I'm surprised the electrician didn't carry out such checks when he visited or even mention it. All he said was to call him the next day and let him know if the alarms had gone off again. Can you request that he return and checks the batteries?
For the record the alarms went off again twice last night, between 9 and 9.30pm. As with last time, there was no apparent reason for it happening.

--------------------------------------

And their reply, which is vague and I can't pin down what they refer to:
---------------------------------------
'Part of the tenancy agreement does state you are responsible for changing the batteries. I appreciate you may be uncomfortable doing this, but if you are struggling you should arrange for this to be carried out by a contractor at your own expense.
This would be the only way to determine if it is the batteries or another fault. Obviously if there is another fault, the landlord would be liable.'

----------------------------------------

Current thinking: The batteries were not proven to be functioning when we took the tenancy a few month ago. And [informally] is the agent seriously suggesting we're liable employ an electrician to replace supposed 10-year back-up batteries in the alarm system? Ie, to be clear, this is a mains powered system with battery back-up, and not a battery powered system.

I'm wondering if I should short-circuit this to-fro and just consult with the local council Environmental Health Department... their website states: 'Your landlord is obliged to check that these alarms are in working order on the day your tenancy begins, but you should check them regularly as well. The legislation applies to existing tenancies as well as new ones.'

FWIW We have been provided with no proof of such checks having taken place.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520244

Postby mc2fool » August 5th, 2022, 11:18 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:And their reply, which is vague and I can't pin down what they refer to:
---------------------------------------
'Part of the tenancy agreement does state you are responsible for changing the batteries. I appreciate you may be uncomfortable doing this, but if you are struggling you should arrange for this to be carried out by a contractor at your own expense.
This would be the only way to determine if it is the batteries or another fault. Obviously if there is another fault, the landlord would be liable.'

----------------------------------------

Well that's easy then, you reply saying that the only reference to smoke alarms you can find in the tenancy agreement says that you have "To test at regular intervals any battery operated smoke alarms fitted in the premises and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working.", but these are mains operated smoke alarms and so clearly that statement doesn't apply, and ask them to highlight which part they are referring to that makes any statement about mains operated alarms, as you can't see one.

A secondary thought, it might be worth spending a little time identifying the exact model of the alarm (may require taking the cover off) and searching the net for a manual for it, just to see if it has a "This work should (or must) be carried out by a qualified electrician" statement in it.

BTW, something you haven't mentioned (or if you did I've failed to spot), have they provided you with the new backup batteries to stick into the device? If not, are they common or garden pickup at your local Tesco types, or are they special to the alarm types?

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520245

Postby Mike4 » August 5th, 2022, 11:35 pm

I'd be inclined to write back pointing out these alarms are not ordinary conventional battery-operated alarms as the AST appears to assume they are, and asking for confirmation that you will not be liable if either you or your contractor accidentally damages one trying to open it up without a copy of the manual to hand. Also ask for confirmation that if you engage an electrician to work on these mains powered alarms the landlord will foot the bill, or at least apportion the cost between you between you and previous tenants given you hardly been there five minutes. (They are being stoopid about it so push back with the same.)

Secondly you are reporting a fault (repeated false alarms) and you want it fixed before committing to expenditure on expensive specialist rechargeable batteries. Keep on stressing these are mains appliances which do not use ordinary disposable, consumer-replaceable dry batteries. Ask them produce the manual showing otherwise if they disagree (assuming google doesn't find you a copy of the manual).

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520377

Postby DiamondEcho » August 6th, 2022, 6:03 pm

This is a recap/clarification of where I have got with this so far. I'd missed reading some earlier points raised and I'll try and clarify those here too:

In my original post I said 'we have to replace the rechargable back-up batteries in the detector heads'. Having looked again at photos of the backs of the heat and smoke detector heads I now see that the suggested battery types marked on the battery compartments are *not rechargable*, they are the regular alkaline 9v 'mini-brick' batteries with which we will all be familiar. I apologise for the confusion I caused there! :oops: Example: https://www.duracell.co.uk/products/9v/ Note I have not removed the detector heads and confirmed what batteries are presently installed.

I have managed to download the installation, maintenance + troubleshooting guide for the detector heads. https://www.safefiredirect.co.uk/brk-67 ... alarm.aspx I'm certainly very surprised that the guide only seems to mention 'qualified electrician' or similar just once, and that is re: initial system installation. These kinds of appliance guides typically come with numerous warnings, loud and clear in bold, right at the start, but not here! I will try and upload an image of what it has to say about maintenance. On the image I have highlighted a part of the text with a red line. Having seen how the electrician removed the heads this section appears to be the applicable sub-section. In summary this user-guide appears to suggest isolating the circuit and removing the heads can be done by an unqualified house-holder. That is quite shocking...

FWIW I am conscious of the fact that the agent who has previously been helpful seems to be firmly clear now that this problem is my responsibility.

re: a Richlist point: I don't know how long the LL has been in the business, but we aren't the first tenants. The property used to be the LLs home, and having previously let out my own home I'm conscious that tenant matters can feel much more personal; 'I used to be able to simply fix x/y/z with my eyes closed why can't they!?'. The LL is using an agent, both are located within about 2-3 miles.

re: a Mike4 point: The electrician did check the heads and removed an expired one from the garage. He moved another from a bedroom to a landing and explained the system thus met the minimum Regs requirements, 'though ideally the LL should replace the missing heads and you might suggest that she does so'. He did not lift any of the battery compartment covers to check beneath. Oh, and, from what I've seen in the first 4 months I'm not anticipating any periodic LL inspections to happen.

re: Modellingman quotes this from the current regs:
'-Landlords will be responsible for repairing or replacing any faulty alarms.
-If tenants find that their alarms are not in working order during the tenancy, they are advised to arrange for the replacement of the batteries.
-If the alarm still does not work after replacing the batteries, or if tenants are unable to replace the batteries themselves, they should report this to the relevant landlord.'
... and this^ seems to be the LLs position.
- re: a point I made [!]: '-The local Environmental Health website includes this: 'Your landlord is obliged to check that these alarms are in working order on the day your tenancy begins, but you should check them regularly as well.'


Some random comments + thoughts that I might possibly come back to:
- Am I responsible for the maintenance of hard-wired building infrastructure (hardwired smoke alarm system)?

- Note, and this x-refs with a point made by Modellingman: Alarms were not tested in our presence at the commencement of our tenancy - vs - the LL had a legal obligation to have tested and confirmed that the system was in proper working order at that time. I don't believe that this requirement was met, but it could be that requesting such proof of checks now will antagonise the LL such that it ends up working against us in future... hmmm!

- The user-guide says to 'change the battery if the alarm beeps every 45 seconds'. What it doesnt say is whether such beeping continues until the battery has been changed. For example there have been instances it might have beeped two or three times 45 seconds apart. But then it'd done the same with entirely random intervals of minutes, hours and even days. The alarms have not rung since Thursday, do I take it that the batteries still need replacing?

- Is it a 'battery powered system'? [x-ref: if such tenant works is required per the TA].

re: A Mc2Fool: 'Well that's easy then, you reply saying that the only reference to smoke alarms you can find in the tenancy agreement says that you have "To test at regular intervals any battery operated smoke alarms fitted in the premises and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working.", but these are mains operated smoke alarms and so clearly that statement doesn't apply, and ask them to highlight which part they are referring to that makes any statement about mains operated alarms, as you can't see one.' - If I'm running out of goodwill from LLs agent might I ask this of the local council housing dept - TBD. And ps. could the following conceivably refer to a consumable back-up battery in a mains powered detector? Hmmm...> 'and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working'

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520387

Postby DiamondEcho » August 6th, 2022, 7:18 pm

This is an image of an excerpt of the user guide:

https://imgur.com/a/EwRPzyl

...apologies I don't know how to make the hosted image appear within the post.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520391

Postby Itsallaguess » August 6th, 2022, 7:53 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
This is an image of an excerpt of the user guide:

https://imgur.com/a/EwRPzyl

...apologies I don't know how to make the hosted image appear within the post.


Here you go DE -

Image

On the face of it, those instructions not only go into the really quite intricate details of replacing the battery, which look to be well beyond those that might be fairly envisaged in your tenancy agreement, which looks to be talking about consumer-level devices with much simpler battery-replacement instructions, but even beyond that, the question I'd be asking myself in your position would be why, when looking at those detailed instructions, you should be getting yourself involved with ensuring the system is subsequently left in a safe and correctly-operating working state once you'd got involved with it...

Given the importance of this safety equipment, answering that secondary question would actually be more important to me than any specific process related to the battery itself...

I'd push back hard on this one...you shouldn't be taking responsibility for this fixed installation...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520395

Postby Mike4 » August 6th, 2022, 8:22 pm

In my world of gas engineering, the dividing line between stuff the consumer can do and a qualified person must do is whether tools are required to complete the task. I would not be surprised if a similar threshold exists in the world of electrical work.

Given these instructions mention the use of tools and the need for isolation ("safe isolation" in today's terminology) before working on it, I'd say this crosses the line.

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520558

Postby DiamondEcho » August 7th, 2022, 6:34 pm

Thanks all, I'm confident that I have enough to go ahead with. I believe that I might need to 'reset' the LLs/agents expectations of who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the landlord's fixtures (especially when such repairs are positively dangerous to the unqualified). Unless I at least test their assumptions for reasonableness then such suggested liability might continue.

Scanning back through the topic, this statement from the agent still stands out: 'I appreciate you may be uncomfortable doing this, but if you are struggling you should arrange for this to be carried out by a contractor at your own expense. Really!

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520566

Postby Itsallaguess » August 7th, 2022, 7:04 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:
And ps. could the following conceivably refer to a consumable back-up battery in a mains powered detector? Hmmm...> 'and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working'


No, because that whole section of the agreement is specifically talking about battery-operated smoke alarms -

"To test at regular intervals any battery operated smoke alarms fitted in the premises and replace any battery in an alarm, which is found not to be working."

This is the only key point that you want to be making to your letting agent - that there is a clear discrepancy between what that agreement is expecting, and what is being asked of you here, because what is being asked of you does not have anything to do with 'battery operated smoke alarms'...

The alarm system in place is a mains-operated, hard-wired system, which clearly falls outside of the very clearly worded tenancy agreement...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520596

Postby modellingman » August 7th, 2022, 8:17 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:Thanks all, I'm confident that I have enough to go ahead with. I believe that I might need to 'reset' the LLs/agents expectations of who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the landlord's fixtures (especially when such repairs are positively dangerous to the unqualified). Unless I at least test their assumptions for reasonableness then such suggested liability might continue.

Scanning back through the topic, this statement from the agent still stands out: 'I appreciate you may be uncomfortable doing this, but if you are struggling you should arrange for this to be carried out by a contractor at your own expense. Really!


Having read the Owner's Manual, it is clear that the manufacturer classes battery replacement as user (ie householder) operation and that battery replacement is one of the troubleshooting steps that users are advised to undertake. Given this and that the TA gives you (as the tenant) responsibility for replacing batteries, I think there are only two legal/contractual aspects (and I am a landlord not a lawyer) that you can possibly use:
  1. the definition of a "battery operated smoke alarm" - you are arguing that this excludes a mains powered alarm with a battery backup and the agent argues the opposite. I am not sure how that gets resolved and I doubt your local authority PRS team will offer a definitive view but perhaps worth an informal enquiry
  2. the reasonableness of the condition in the TA requiring you to change the batteries in the smoke alarm

As I noted in an earlier post, tenancy agreements cannot impose unreasonable conditions. Whether a condition is unreasonable or not can depend on the nature of the tenant. For example, if the tenant has a disability that makes it dangerous or impossible for them to use a stepladder then it might be unreasonable to expect them to change batteries in a smoke alarm. If it were the case that battery replacement is (electrically) dangerous to the unqualified then that would also make the condition unreasonable. However, the Owner's Manual rather undermines this argument.

The issue of whether the alarms were tested or not at the start of the tenancy may give you some leverage but, unless you are claiming that the alarms were faulty from the outset of your tenancy, it is not something you can use to avoid the troubleshooting (and clearly troublesome) battery replacement. Assuming the agent cannot demonstrate the alarms were tested as required under the regulations, I suspect your leverage will not be that great. Unless your landlord/agent is towards the Rachman end of the scale or a serial offender in this respect, a local authority will most likely give the landlord/agent a remainder of their obligations under the regulations with a warning not to get caught again.

I am sorry I cannot be more positive, but good luck with your "reset".

modellingman

Itsallaguess
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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520602

Postby Itsallaguess » August 7th, 2022, 9:01 pm

modellingman wrote:
Having read the Owner's Manual, it is clear that the manufacturer classes battery replacement as user (ie householder) operation and that battery replacement is one of the troubleshooting steps that users are advised to undertake.


Whilst that might be the case from the manufacturers point of view, those instructions clearly cannot know anything about any underlying property-ownership aspects of the building or tenancy agreement, and where that tenancy agreement also clearly says that the tenant is 'not to tamper, interfere with, alter or add to the gas, water or electrical installations or meters, either in or serving the premises’, then the critical first step of those instructions telling the user to isolate the electrical circuit to this alarm system cannot actually be carried by the tenant...

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Itsallaguess

modellingman
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Re: Smoke alarms, mains wired, who replaces internal back-up battery, landlord or tenant?

#520614

Postby modellingman » August 7th, 2022, 10:44 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
modellingman wrote:
Having read the Owner's Manual, it is clear that the manufacturer classes battery replacement as user (ie householder) operation and that battery replacement is one of the troubleshooting steps that users are advised to undertake.


Whilst that might be the case from the manufacturers point of view, those instructions clearly cannot know anything about any underlying property-ownership aspects of the building or tenancy agreement, and where that tenancy agreement also clearly says that the tenant is 'not to tamper, interfere with, alter or add to the gas, water or electrical installations or meters, either in or serving the premises’, then the critical first step of those instructions telling the user to isolate the electrical circuit to this alarm system cannot actually be carried by the tenant...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess


I disagree. Provided the consumer unit is labelled up correctly, isolating the electrical circuit for the alarm system is no more difficult than turning off the power to a light fitting to allow a bulb in the fitting to be changed. Checking the status of the LEDs on the alarm heads before and after isolating at the CU the supply provides confirmation of the isolation.

Temporarily isolating a circuit at the CU to effect the battery change does not amount to tampering with, altering or adding to the electrical installation any more than switching off a light switch does to change a light bulb.


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