Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, from 1 October 2015 a landlord must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. Alarms should be checked throughout the tenancy on inspections and by the tenant. The landlord will need to check that the tenant is carrying out the checks as the landlord carries the legal obligation to keep the alarms operating and not the tenant.
The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms to be installed (such as hard wired or battery powered). Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarms for their properties and tenants.
Carbon monoxide alarms are only required in rooms containing a solid fuel burning appliance (i.e. rooms containing an open fire, log burning stove, etc.). Heat detectors are not a replacement for smoke alarms. However, as gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, it is good practice to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with these. If needed, your local fire and rescue authority may be able to provide further advice on installation or you can download fire safety information from www.gov.uk/firekills.
Landlords are recommended to fit long life non-tamper proof alarms to avoid batteries being removed and not being replaced.