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Landlord Alert - new smoke and carbon monoxide rules are imminent

An industry trade body is alerting landlords that new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm rules are likely to be introduced soon - possibly this year.

Propertymark is reminding landlords and agents that since October 2015 there’s been a legal requirement for a smoke alarm to be fitted on every floor of a property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation.

There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel such as wood, coal or biomass is being burned - and that includes open fires, although not gas, oil or LPG. 


Landlords and agents are also expected to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.

Now the regime is getting tougher with housing minister Eddie Hughes outlining further changes:

- carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented homes;

- carbon monoxide alarms will also be mandatory upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations;

- private and social landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once informed that they are faulty.

Propertymark says the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is urging all private landlords - as well as registered providers of social housing - to begin installation and repair of these alarms immediately, if they believe they are not already compliant. 

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says: “Parity across tenures is a key focus of the UK Government and extending the regulations to gas appliances will provide additional levels of protection for tenants.

“Letting agents should be aware that the changes will introduce an obligation on private landlords to repair or replace any alarm which is found to be faulty during the period of a tenancy.

“The current regulations only oblige landlords to check that alarms are in working order on the first day of a new tenancy. Ahead of implementation, agents and their landlords should start now to plan for the changes and the impact on management practices going forward.”

Official guidance for landlords can be found here.

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    I trust tenants will still be responsible for regular testing and replacement of batteries when necessary.

    Landlords have obligations which should already be in place but has it been made a criminal offence for tenants to interfere with smoke and CO detectors, similar to what happens on public transport?

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    I personally find it weird how gas cookers are excluded when they are the big offender in my opinion. I make this statement as a Combi boiler sucks in fresh air from outside and blows out contaminated air it is a sealed unit so nothing can get into the building. A gas cooker on the other hand takes its fresh air out of the room and puts contaminated air back into the room. Is anybody else’s opinion the same as mine?


    Complete headscratcher isn't it. Unlikely a tenant will fit a new boiler, but far more likely they will get their mate from the pub to badly instal a new cooker they just bought off gumtree. Or leave the existing cooker turned on while asleep etc. Doesn't seem to make sense??

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    The Test Button on CO Alarms DOES NOT TEST that the alarm is working - it only tests that there is power to the unit and that the buzzer will sound. It does not test the life critical part of the CO Alarm, The Sensor!. If the sensor is not able to sense deadly CO GAS and you press the test button the alarm will sound and tell you everything is ok when it is not!. Test your CO Alarms on installation and every year to make sure it will keep protecting you and your tenants. it takes about 3 minutes to make sure your alarm is working and saving lives. Easy and safe to use - DETECGTAGAS Universal CO Alarm Test Kit. Test them and Trust them

  • George Dawes

    Why would you require a carbon monoxide alarm in a property that’s all electric ?

    I have the boilers outside - the gas bit - everything else is electric, everything

    More red tape


    Who is suggesting that you do?
    Though it could depend on what you mean by "outside" (and the ventilation there)

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    George - No, one of my properties is all electric and i have no carbon monoxide detectors, just the usual smoke/heat detectors...... now if the tenant decides to light a portable barbecue in the lounge...... he will win the Darwin award (posthmoustly of course).


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