Social and private landlords are to face tougher new rules which make it mandatory to fit smoke alarms in all rented accommodation regardless of tenure, and widen the conditions under which they must be fitted.

Revisions to the smoke and carbon monoxide detector regulations also require carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted when new appliances such as gas boilers or fires are installed in any rented home.

rent arrears

All landlords – in both private and social sectors – also now have to repair or replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once told they are faulty.

Timothy Douglas (pictured), policy manager at Propertymark, believes the change is both welcome and necessary to improve tenant safety.

“Private landlords have been required since 2015 to provide working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where applicable in rented property, and the extension of the regulations to encompass gas boilers is a sensible amendment,” he says.

“Propertymark has long called for tenants to receive the same level of protection, irrespective of tenure, and these changes go some way to rectifying that.”

However, Douglas adds that in order for landlords to be able to make necessary checks, they need to be given flexibility and greater clarity.

“The current requirement for alarms to be tested on the first day of a tenancy is impractical for many agents and landlords, and more workable measures are needed.”

eddie hughes

Eddie Hughes MP (pictured), Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, says about 20 people are killed each year in accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and many more through house fires.

“I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms.” Says Hughes:

“Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.”

The government has promised to update guidance relating to where alarms are fitted and to ensure alarms meet relevant standards.


  1. Nobody has ever been killed by CO2!!

    That is a gas that is exhaled by every human being.

    CO is a dangerous product of combustion.

    CO detectors are an excellent idea.

    It should be COMPULSORY for every occupied property to have CO detectors.

    A CO detector should be located adjacent to ANY device that combusts fuel of any sort.

    Removal of detector batteries by tenants should be made a CRIMINAL offence.

    Ideally there should be interlinked detectors.

    But certainly a fire detector in each room should be recommended battery powered or otherwise.

  2. I had a CO detector fitted several weeks ago, even though it was/is not a legal requirement. I figured that providing and fitting the device (I was charged £47) would be far more cost-effective than having dead bodies litter the place and needing to re-advertise for tenants. Plus I would have to cater for a void period, the loss of rent and more management fees for a new tenancy. Nah! Not worth the hassle. Better safe than sorry, methinks.

    External vents can lose their covers and become blocked or clogged, so I think that all properties should have (at least) one CO detector fitted, irrespective of when the relevant appliance was installed.

    • Yep dead tenants very bad for business.
      Won’t do your business name any good.

      Apparently though if a licensed HMO then detectors have to be hard-wired.

      So ANY letting in a



      Licensing area would need hard-wired detectors.

      Now just imagine in an Additional Licensed property where there are 3 bedroom with a tenant couple and a single unrelated tenant.

      Technically NO hard-wired detectors required.

      Then the tenant couple has a tiff and one moves into the 3rd bedroom.

      At that instant hard-wired detectors would be legally required.

      If the couple make up then the hard-wired detectors aren’t required.

      To play safe in the licensing areas best to have hard-wired detectors just in case domestic relationships change without the LL knowledge.

      There should never be a situation where tenants need to interfere with hard-wired detectors.

      Only if power is off and the backup battery is discharged need a replacement battery be required.

      Most batteries as a backup will last the the life of a detector which is about 10 years.

  3. Fitting a smoke detector is a no-brainer they save lives. The problem is tenants won’t tell me the batteries need replacing. I am also surprised that they will take the battery out because they need it for something “important”. Candles are a big killer they should be banned.
    A modern gas boiler is very safe by basic design and its safety systems. The boiler is room sealed and the fan blows all products of combustion out of the building. If the fan fails the boiler shuts down, if the sensor fails the boiler shuts down, so monoxide alarms are unnecessary.
    Log burners, old gas fires, freestanding gas, and paraffin heaters are dangerous and should be banned.


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