As a landlord or even a tenant have you ever wondered what the legal requirement is regarding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that you must provide or have fitted within your rented property?

If the answer is yes then read on….

By law from 1 October 2015 landlords are required to ensure alarms are installed in their properties, The regulations stipulate that smoke alarms are to be installed on every level of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Once installed, the landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) must ensure all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

After the landlord’s test on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. Testing monthly is the recommended frequency for smoke alarms. If tenants find that their smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is not working during their tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the landlord.

If the local authority has reasonable grounds to believe the landlord has not adhered to the regulations a notice will be issued, detailing the suspected breach and the action needed to resolve the issue.

If the landlord proves compliance to their local authority or demonstrates they have taken all reasonable steps short of legal proceedings, to become compliant within 28 days of the notice being issued then they will be spared the civil penalty – which could be up to £5,000.

The regulations aren’t specific as to the type of alarms (such as hardwired or battery powered) that should be installed, it is down to the landlord to make an informed choice and pick the best alarms for their properties and tenants. It goes without saying that the more smoke alarms fitted in a property, the safer the inhabitants will be.