New laws aimed at preventing fires in private-rented accommodation have been welcomed on Wearside.
The new Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations, being introduced in October, will make it compulsory for landlords to have the right number of smoke alarms fitted in their properties to protect tenants.
Under the new laws, smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property, as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties that burn solid fuels.
Landlords must also check that the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy. The move is expected to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year across the country.
Portfolio holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “The vast majority of landlords provide a good service and have smoke alarms installed in their properties.
“However, the law is changing to help ensure that every tenant living in private-rented accommodation is similarly protected in their home.”
One of those already signed up for the scheme is accredited landlord, Kevin Shaw, 57, a former fireman who runs Bedebrooke Lettings with his son Philip.
The family business owns more than 20 rental properties and is a letting agent for others, that provide accommodation for more than 160 students.
Mr Shaw said: “It is essential for all homes to have smoke alarms fitted, it is proven that they save lives.
“The price of a smoke alarm compared to the cost of a human life means it really is a ‘no brainer’ when considering whether to have them installed.”