New carbon monoxide & smoke alarm regulations for landlords

On the 1st October some new added regulations came into force surrounding Carbon Monoxide and smoke alarms in rented properties. They only apply to England, separate rules are in place for Scotland and Wales. All rented properties will need alarms, with testing being required on the first day of new tenancies beginning on or after 1st October 2022.


The landlord is responsible for the alarms, they can instruct the agent to do the work for them, so long as that is written into your contracts, if it isn’t, the landlord is legally liable. 


Here’s a detailed breakdown of the changes in regulations:-


  • The requirement for a smoke alarm to be on every storey of a rented property will be extended to social housing. A smoke alarm is required for every storey where a room is used for living accommodation, this includes hallways and landings. It only includes mezzanines if there is a room used as living accommodation on the mezzanine.


  • The requirement for Carbon Monoxide alarms is extended to include all “fixed combustion appliances other than a gas cooker”. The previous requirement was that a Carbon Monoxide alarm was only required for “solid fuel”, they are required in all rooms with a fuel burning appliance, not just ‘living accommodation”. A separate garage is still classed as a room and would require an alarm.  The requirements for these alarms are a lot stricter – they have to be at head height, either on a wall or shelf, 1 to 3 metres away from a potential source of Carbon monoxide.


  • Even if the tenancy agreement says no fire is allowed when there’s an open chimney, you still need a Carbon Monoxide alarm, as it is still a source of fuel and the fireplace can theoretically still be used. If it’s very obvious that a fireplace is capped off and the chimney is sealed then no alarm is required. For fireplaces that aren’t easily capped it’s better to be safe than sorry for the expense of fitting an alarm, given the risks involved. If a boiler is in a cupboard you should put the carbon monoxide alarm in the cupboard as well as outside of it, to be extra safe. If it’s in the loft it’s best to put it near the door and another one outside in the hallway.


  • There is a new duty to repair or replace any faulty alarms as soon as reasonably practical when a tenant reports a fault.


  • As the new legislation came into force on the 1st October, all properties that require alarms will need to have them by this date. Testing will only be required on the first day of any new tenancies, this does not include periodic tenancies or tenancies confirmed prior to the 1st October. It is best to file evidence on file to confirm Carbon Monoxide alarms are in place, put them on the inventory along with a photo.


We’ve listed some useful links to the official regulations, the 2015 regulations still apply with these 2022 regulations adding to those that are already in play.


2015 Regulations

2015 Guidance

2022 Regulations

Government response to the 2019 consultation


If you’re looking to rent your property, here at Townsends we have all the Landlords Information you would need to ensure you’re best informed for renting your property. 


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