Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

As of 1st October 2015, landlords are required to comply with the following regulations:

  • Have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property, which is used as living accommodation
  • Have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a solid fuel is used.

‘Living accommodation is defined as a room used for the primary purposes of living or is a room in which a person spends a significant amount of time’.

The law in England states that a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room that contains an appliance that burns solid. For example, coal fires or wood burning stoves. However, as gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, we would encourage landlords to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with these.

The law also states that at least one smoke alarm needs to be installed on every storey of their rental property. The smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space. For example, hall or a landing.

On the first day of any new tenancy the landlord must check that the alarms are in working order and comply with the regulations. Tenants should then take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms monthly to make sure they are in full working order.

It is essential that landlords maintain a record of the carbon monoxide alarms that they install along with all checks that they make. When the landlord goes through the inventory on the first day of the tenancy, the landlord makes provision for the tenant to sign the inventory to record that the required alarms have been tested by the landlord and the tenant is satisfied that they are in working order.

The regulations do not apply to social housing landlords. At present, private rented sector properties have fewer working alarms installed, therefore the regulations are designed to ensure all privately rented homes are equipped with working smoke alarms at the start of a new tenancy and carbon monoxide alarms where necessary.

The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with the remedial notice.


© Thandi Nicholls Ltd 2020 All Rights Reserved – The above articles are provided for guidance only and may not cover your personal circumstances so you should not rely on them. It is important that you seek appropriate professional advice which takes into account your personal circumstances where you can provide the full facts of the case and all documents related to your case. Thandi Nicholls Ltd t/a, K Nicholls FCA or S Thandi cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action or the consequences of deciding not to act.

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