Legislation for Lettings – Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

There has always been confusion over smoke alarms in tenanted properties and finally we have been provided with some clear guidelines on this point.

Up until 1st October it had been necessary to provide wired-in smoke alarms where properties were re-wired or had electrical works carried out. This had also been a requirement in Houses in Multiple Occupation or Student Accommodation.

Now all tenanted properties in England will need to be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each floor.

This will mean a rush of activity to ensure that these life-saving devices are fitted as quickly as possible, but there is no doubt that the legislation is long overdue and all landlords will be able to see the benefits of protecting their properties.

Of course, future problems will arise with checking the alarms are working and that they are not disabled because they have become a ‘nuisance’. However, clearly written Tenancy Agreements and advice notes to tenants should alleviate this problem.

The confusion in this particular piece of legislation appears to be with the additional requirement to fit Carbon Monoxide Alarms.

As with smoke alarms this is clearly of benefit to tenants but we have already seen reports that it must be fitted in all properties. Other reports advise that they should be fitted in all properties with a gas supply. However, as far as we are aware, the actual wording is that they should be fitted in all rooms where there is a solid-fuel appliance.

This could also be taken to mean any room where there is the option of using, say an old fireplace as a working coal or wood fire. The worry here being that a tenant could use something you had thought of as ornamental as an actual fire without the landlord being aware. Once again, clearly written advice notes for tenants are essential.

Harcourts - Letting Experts in Southampton.

If you would like to discuss this or any other property related matter, then please contact Harcourts on 023 8063 7438, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check our website at www.harcourts-property.co.uk for initial free advice. Our experience and continued professional development in the property market means that we can provide practical advice and a service which means your property is in safe hands.

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