Housing conditions and rights for tenants

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in private rented property

Legislation came into force on the 1st October 2015 concerning smoke alarms and rented residential property. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

Landlords are required by law to supply and install at least 1 smoke alarm on every storey of their properties. They are also required to install a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms which have a solid fuel burning appliance. They must ensure that the alarms are in working order at the beginning of each new tenancy.

Tenants are responsible for the replacement of batteries to alarms, and to inform their landlord when an alarm requires replacing because it no longer works.

A fine of up to £5,000 can be given for failure to comply with the regulations

Read The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015: Q and A booklet for the private rented sector – landlords and tenants (link opens in new window) on GOV.UK

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can seriously affect your health, and in some cases even cause death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when cooking and heating appliances which burn carbon-containing fuels are poorly maintained and poorly ventilated.

To ensure your carbon-burning appliances remain safe to use you should have them serviced annually and consider fitting an audible carbon monoxide alarm.

Landlords are required by law to ensure that all gas using appliances in their property has to be annually checked by a gas safe registered contractor and certificate is issued to advise that an appliance is safe to use.

They are also responsible for the regular servicing and maintenance of such appliances.

Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home – this is both ineffective and high risk!

For more information about carbon monoxide safety please visit the Health and Safety Executive website (link opens in new window).

For general health advice and information on how to find a registered engineer, visit the NHS Carbon Monoxide page (link opens in new window).