AN assembly member has welcomed the introduction of legislation for carbon monoxide detectors in rented accommodation.

Last month Clwyd West AM Darren Millar expressed concerns to the Senedd over the absence of legal requirements for the detectors to be installed in rental properties. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations for the rental sector came into effect in England in 2015, which covered smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, however they do not apply to Wales.

Carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless and tasteless toxic gas produced by malfunctioning fuel appliances, inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to tissues including vital organs such as the heart and brain.

About 60 people a year are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in Wales and thousands are hospitalised.

This week Mr Millar received a letter from AM Julie James, Welsh Government minister for housing and local government, stating that a new section of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 “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”.

Mrs James said Section 94 “will require landlords to ensure their dwelling is fit for human habitation” and Welsh ministers to “make regulations relating to the determination of whether a dwelling is fit for human habitation”.

“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,” said Mrs James. “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.”

The new regulations will come into effect before the end of the assembly term in 2021.

Mr Millar said “hopefully these new regulations will help to reduce” the number of deaths annually.

“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,” he said.

“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.”