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Landlords: here is all you need to know about the new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm rules 

News | 22 September 2022

It’s 2022, and you’re a landlord. You’ve had your fair share of bad tenants. You’ve had people not pay the rent on time. You’ve had to deal with pests and mould in the property. But now, you have a new problem – and it’s literally life-threatening: 

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 come into force on 1st October 2022, and they’re going to change the game for landlords everywhere, including you. 

The purpose of these new regulations is to help prevent death from fires that are caused by faulty appliances. They are also aimed at reducing deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning appliances. 

So, what do these changes mean? And what can you do to prepare yourself? Let us break it down for you! 

From 1st October 2022, all landlords must: 

  • Ensure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. Smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space, i.e., a hall or a landing. 
  • Ensure that Carbon monoxide alarms are installed in any room used as living accommodation which has a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers). Generally, carbon monoxide alarms should be positioned at head height, either on a wall or shelf, approximately 1-3 metres away from a potential source of carbon monoxide. 
  • Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty 
     

Under the regulations, landlords must check that smoke alarms are working at the start of a new tenancy and replace any that do not work. They must also check carbon monoxide alarms are working at the start of a new tenancy and replace any that do not work. 

These rules apply to all private rented properties in England, Scotland and Wales where there is more than one room. The rules do not apply to self-contained flats or houses. 

We know what you’re thinking, how will these regulations be enforced? Well, they will be enforced by local housing authorities. If you do not meet these requirements, your local housing authority may serve a remedial notice. Failure to follow each remedial notice can lead to a fine of up to a whopping £5,000. It’s also worth noting that fines will be applied per breach, rather than per landlord or property. 


So, this has probably got you thinking about what tenancies are exempt from these regulations?  

We can tell you:

  • shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family 
  • long leases 
  • student halls of residence 
  • hotels and refuges 
  • care homes 
  • hospitals and hospices 
  • low cost ownership homes 
  • other accommodation relating to health care provision 

 
While it is easy to complain about all the laws and rules, each one of them is for our own safety. So, if you are a landlord who has yet to get your alarms tested or a tenant who still has not had an alarm fitted in the place you live in yet, make sure that you do that as soon as possible.