Posted May 18, 2016

Landlords’ Obligations

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, aimed at landlords, came into effect from 1 October 2015. It was brought in as part of the government move to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety. A move which was welcomed by fire and rescue authorities across the UK.

“Private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.”

So as a landlord, how can you ensure you comply with the legislation? Here’s our quick guide (with a link to the full government guide at the bottom of the page).

  • The type of alarm is not specified.  It can be hard wired or battery operated.  The legislation simply states that you should make an informed decision so if in doubt, ask an expert.
  • The position of the alarm is also unspecified.  However, in general, smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circultaion space (eg hall or landing), and carbon monoxide alarms positioned at head height either on a wall or shelf.
  • Each local housing authority determines whether the evidence provided proves that the landlord has met the requirements of the legislation.  The guide suggests that one possible way of doing this is to include the smoke and carbon monoxide tests in the inventory record within the tenancy agreement.  Get the tenant to sign to declare that they see the alarms are in good working order.
  • A landlord can be fined up to £5,000 by the local authority if it fails to comply with the legislation.