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INSIGHT: Private sector landlords must now install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

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Landlords in the private rented sector should note that regulations have recently been introduced requiring them to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations (SI 2015/1693) 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015 and, in brief, provide that landlords must now:

  • install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties;
  • ensure that such alarms are installed on every floor of their property and in rooms where there are solid fuel burning appliances;
  • ensure that the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Those who do not comply with the regulations could face a civil penalty of up to £5,000.

The regulations have become law despite the reservations of various in the industry about their wording. That said, few will argue with the regulations’ aim which is to reduce injuries or death from smoke or carbon monoxide. As housing minister, Brandon Lewis said: ‘New fire safety measures will help save the lives of tenants and ensure all rented property is equipped with a smoke alarm’.

Local authorities, landlords and tenants can find more information in the Government press release and two booklets which have been made available by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG):

Further useful information provided in the press release include:

  • details of the fire kills campaign to encourage tenants to check their alarms regularly
  • information about the government’s funding of local fire and rescue authorities so that they can purchase a limited number of alarms for free distribution to landlords. Further information is available from or from local fire and rescue services.

For further information, please contact Karen Piontek on 0161 684 6948 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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