Smoke Alarm Legislation for Landlords explained

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Fines of up to £5,000 could be levied on private landlords who don’t fall into line with laws introduced from October 1st 2015.

All tenants should have a safe place to live, regardless of tenure. In 2015, the Government introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (“the Regulations”) to protect private sector tenants from death or injury in the home caused by smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Regulations require private rented sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on each storey of their properties on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room wholly or partly used as living accommodation, containing a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

The landlord must make sure the alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy. Landlords are not responsible for testing alarms during the course of the tenancy. Guidance contained within the “How to Rent”2 guide recommends that tenants should take responsibility for their own safety by testing all alarms regularly. Testing monthly is generally considered an appropriate frequency for smoke alarms.

The Regulations apply to private landlords of residential premises. They apply to assured, assured shorthold and specified tenancies (a licence, lease, sub-lease or sub-tenancy) granting tenants the right to occupy all or part of the premises as their only or main residence, for a rent.

Some tenancies are excluded from the Regulations including: Long leases or a tenancy granting occupation for 7 or more years and shared accommodation with the landlord or landlord’s family.

The enforcement body for these Regulations is the local housing authority

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