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Quick guide to smoke & carbon monoxide alarm regulations

A new legislation on the installation and checking of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms has been passed in Government this October. Our Lettings Property Manager provides a guide to how this will affect landlords and their rental properties.

As you may have heard, a new legislation for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms was introduced earlier this month for privately rented properties. If you’re confused or unsure of what they entail, don’t worry. We’re going to outline what these new regulations actually mean in this no nonsense guide. All landlords take note!



The first thing we need to cover is how many alarms you need in your rented property. For smoke alarms, you simply need one fitted on every floor to pass the requirements, but for carbon monoxide alarms, you need one in every room with a solid fuel appliance (anything that is powered by peat, slack, coal and smokeless fuels like Ovoids, Anthracite and Phurnacite).

Remember that heat detectors do not detect smoke, so it is absolutely essential that you install smoke alarms. In comparison to heat detectors, they are much more sensitive and will be activated by the slightest trace of smoke to ensure that your tenants and your property are safe.



Before a new tenant can move in to your property, all alarms must be checked and recorded as working on Day 1 of the tenancy. We recommend that you pre-check all alarms before this date to avoid any unnecessary delays in the moving process.

But where and how do you record this to make sure your rental property is all in order? You will need to give evidence to your local authority. An inventory with a signature from your tenant to prove that they are satisfied with the alarms should be enough to provide an official record, or it can be recorded in the check-in report. 

Regular testing of the alarms is in your tenant’s hands, but it is advised that they test smoke alarms on a monthly basis. If the alarm does not work, then they may ask you for replacement batteries or alarms.



Of course, there’s the question of what will happen if, for whatever reason, you are not able to meet these requirements. Local housing authorities have the right to enforce a 28 day remedial notice requiring the landlord to fit and test the alarms. If this is not done then the housing authority will install and test them instead, but you must bear in mind that landlords could find themselves fined up to £5,000 for failing to meet the new regulations.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, consult the booklet or call Hobart Slater. Please feel free to give us a call on 020 7590 1200 or email lettings@hobartslater.com. More information can also be found in the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Q&A booklet here.

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