Compliance Guide for The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations for Landlords

For landlords and property managers, ensuring the safety of tenants is a top priority. A critical aspect of this is adherence to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. These regulations mandate the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties, aiming to increase safety and prevent fatalities and injuries from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of what you need to know to ensure your properties are compliant.


Understanding the Regulations:

  • Smoke Alarms: Landlords are required to install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their rental properties where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. These alarms must be tested and confirmed to be in working order on the first day of a new tenancy.
  • Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Carbon monoxide alarms are required in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used. While it’s not a legal requirement for gas appliances, it is good practice to provide a CO alarm near these appliances as well.
  • Testing and Maintenance: On the first day of a new tenancy, landlords or property managers must ensure that all installed smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working condition. Tenants should be encouraged to test the alarms regularly.
  • Responsibility of Landlords: The responsibility for the installation and maintenance of these alarms falls squarely on the landlord. Failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to £5,000.


For Landlords and Property Managers:

  • Installation: Select the appropriate alarms for each area of the property. It’s recommended to choose alarms that carry the British Standards Kitemark to ensure quality and reliability.
  • Documentation: Keep records of all alarm tests and maintenance for at least the duration of the tenancy. These records could be crucial in the event of a dispute or an investigation by the local authority.
  • Educate Tenants: Upon move-in, educate tenants about the location and operation of the alarms. Encourage them to perform regular tests and report any issues immediately.
  • Regular Checks: Incorporate regular checks of the alarms into your property inspection schedule to ensure ongoing compliance and tenant safety.
  • Up-to-Date Knowledge: Stay informed about any changes or updates to the regulations. Engage with local housing authorities or professional bodies to ensure you’re always compliant.


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations are an essential aspect of property management, designed to protect tenants and reduce the risks associated with fire and carbon monoxide. As a landlord or property manager, compliance with these regulations is not only a legal requirement but also a demonstration of your commitment to tenant welfare. By following the guidelines provided, maintaining the alarms, and keeping accurate records, you can ensure that your properties are safe, compliant, and that your tenants are well-informed and protected.


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