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Carbon Monoxide alarms must be fitted in private rentals with gas boilers

The government has announced that carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted in all private rental properties with fixed appliances such as gas boilers or fires. 

The new regulations will also mean that in future carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any home.

And landlords, or agents acting on their behalf, must repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once they are told they are faulty.


The cost of the new requirements to install and maintain alarms will fall to property owners.

These provisions for the private rental sector were revealed in an announcement from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that smoke alarms must be fitted in all social housing - bringing social housing into line with the private rental sector. 

The reforms follow a three month consultation and changes will be brought forward through the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations.


Junior housing minister Eddie Hughes says: “It is fundamentally right for people to feel safe in their own homes – an issue I’ve advocated for many years.

“Around 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires – but we know that simple interventions can stop these needless deaths.

“I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”

And Jim Bywater of the National Fire Chiefs Council adds: “The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes."

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    Modern, well maintained boilers do not release CO into the room - do you really think that those LLs who have old, poorly maintained appliances and probably no gas safety are actually going to comply with this legislation any more than they already do with existing legislation?

    Decent LLs will conform, even though unnecessary, and it is just another cost to be taken into account when setting rents.

    I am all for saving lives but I don't believe this will save even 1.

    PS I have already put CO alarms in my houses in advance of this legislation.


    This has been a legal requirement in Scotland for a long time and I have had the batteries nicked at least twice!

    Now the SNP is forcing me to only use alarms with sealed batteries.

    It seems that tenants can't be expected to afford the £15 or so to keep their families "safe", assuming the alarms actually helped do so. Even worse, it seems that they can't be trusted not to nick the batteries and thus put their lives "at risk".

    It's a pity that such irresponsible people are still trusted to vote but as always, responsible landlords will continue to keep our tenants safe, even if we're not always helped or appreciated by tenants and Government alike!

    Mick Roberts

    Yet they can be trusted Robert to be paid all the UC Housing Element in one go.

  • Paul Charlesworth

    Me too - although I did already believe that it was mandatory?

    Matthew Payne

    Solid fuel only up to now but as you say, I do fit them and recommened them as standard anyway for the sake of a tenner and then you dont have to work out which properties need them and which don't.

  • Theodor Cable

    In the future from here on in, as rents go up, I will be firm in my agreement and discussions with my tenants that the rental increases are NOT from me as a LL, but is caused by The Government and local authorities, both of whom are the ones who continue to add on all the unnecessary trivial ideas that keep upping the costs only to fill their own coffers.

    They generally do nothing of any worth.

    At least then, tenants might even start to ask local authorities and Westminster why are these people are doing this to them.


    Totally agree, all the government and councils are achieving are rent increases and shortages of homes to rent, they are hurting the very people that they claim to be protecting .

  • icon

    I have just re read this article two or three times where it says "that smoke alarms must be fitted in all social housing - bringing social housing into line with the private rental sector.". So this article seems to be implying that social housing is not currently required have to have smoke alarms fitted? Have I read that right? That cannot be true surely as I thought ALL rented properties needed a smoke alarm on each inhabited floor - and if it is that demonstrates a huge gap between the standard of social housing and private Landlords.

    I also had a conversation with my gas plumber during the last set of Gas Safety Certificate visits and if my memory serves me correctly he confirmed that gas boilers were vented which is why they do not need CO2 alarms. To Paul Charlesworth it is currently only mandatory where there is a coal or any type of solid fuel burner.

    I have no problem with this - I will simply use the sealed battery ones(£13 50 with 7 year life) and make a note in my calendar for when it says they need replacing but it does appear to be unnecessary legislation so Govt appear to be doing something rather than any real benefit for tenants ......

    Have they said when this needs to be implemented by?


    As a gas engineer I’ve always fitted them. There are many reasons any appliance can cause co so whole heartedly recommend any landlord to fit without delay. I also have 2 in my home.

  • icon

    It’s not co2 it’s co. Also room sealed appliances can fail so I’m all for the detectors in all properties. I do agree with above though these endless layers of cost being placed on landlords can only end up costing the end user .


    Easy to get confused - we will probably need CO2 alarms when we have to achieve EPC A!!

  • icon

    Sorry Adrian - I know that - just sticky typing fingers :)

  • icon

    Just seen this from an article from Inside House co uk

    Will Jeffwitz, head of policy at the NHF, said: “We support this change. The safety of all residents is the top priority for housing associations.

    “Ninety-five per cent of social homes already have a smoke alarm, which is higher than any other tenure, but we agree with the government that regulations should apply equally to private and social rented homes.”

    Frankly I am gobsmacked that Social Housing was not legally subject to this requirement before? Absolutely believe that Fire Alarms MUST be installed and not arguing with that but It really does highlight the double standards that Private and Social Landlords are held to. And what does he mean by "higher than any other Tenure". ALL the PRS are required to have these since 2015 if I have my facts right!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Social tenants are immune from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and Social housing is Fire-proof -
    or so the Levelling-up Dept thought. !

    Give them a couple of years and the 'Levelled-up' will catch on that Social Tenants can get electrocuted as well as those in the PRS. When that light-bulb comes on, they may think about EICR's being required for all Rented property ( probably excluding Council housing. )


    It would seem that councils and housing associations are pleased when their tenants die as it frees up another home.


    @andrew they like it because it keeps their usage of S.21 notices lower than the PRS

  • John  Adams

    £15-£20, really what is the problem? The paperwork and voids are much more hassle with a dead tenant..


    plus they might then stop paying the rent and not returning phone calls etc - just like many non dead tenants!

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    I am gleefully informed by my electrician that for him Christmas has come early not only must you have a CO detector if a gas appliance is fitted but it must be hardwired into the mains supply and serviced by a competent person every 6 months. This will cost a lot more than £16 to £20.

    Still a small price to save a life but how many lives will it save and what cost? It seems that any cost can be imposed on a landlord regardless of the cost benefit analysis and one more regulation a landlord can be prosecuted for failing to comply with.


    Having just read the consultation results on the Gov.uk site it doesn’t seem to be that way. The tenant is meant to test the alarm, you only replace it if faulty. Nothing mentioned about hard wiring. So not that bad really.


    That's the way I understand it Helen, mine aren't hard wired and the heating engineer tests them once a year

  • Theodor Cable

    The tenants are, I think, liable to replace batteries in fire alarms?


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