Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Your rental properties must contain the right number of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force in October 2015. You must ensure your rental properties meet the requirements of the regulations and the appropriate checks are carried out.

Smoke alarms

You must have at least one smoke alarm installed on each storey of a non-HMO property.

A hard wired alarm system is preferable, but standalone alarms are acceptable. If you use standalone alarms, we recommend you fit tamperproof alarms to prevent batteries being removed.

You should follow the alarm manufacturers guidance regarding where the alarms are placed.

Carbon monoxide alarms

You must have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in any room that contains a solid fuel burning appliance.

Common solid fuel burning appliances include wood burning stoves, open coal fires and Agas.

We suggest following the manufacturer’s guidance regarding placement of the alarms.


You are required to check that the alarms are in proper working order on the day a new tenancy begins.

Renewals of existing contracts and periodic tenancies are not considered new tenancies.

After the initial check by the landlord, it will become the tenant’s responsibility to check the alarms.

We recommend that landlords ask tenants sign the inventory agreeing that the alarms are in working order on the first day of the tenancy.

Failure to check the alarms on the first day of the tenancy would be a breach of the regulations.

Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

The regulations apply to unlicensed HMOs, but you may need more alarms than a single household property.

Licensed HMOs are exempt from Parts 1 to 5 of the regulations but only because the regulations also amend the HMO licensing obligations in the Housing Act 2004 to impose similar requirements.

More advice can be given on a case by case basis by emailing or calling 01903 737755.