Landlord Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations & Acknowledgement Form

Landlord Smoke Alarm Regulation

Apologies in advance for what will probably unravel to be one of the most mundane and disengaging blog posts of the year. I wouldn’t wish this article upon my worst enemy, because there’s absolutely nothing exhilarating about a couple of inanimate devices that you can’t install apps or watch porn on.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the important ‘Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations‘ for Landlords in England, despite how devastatingly uninteresting and unamusing they are.

Okay, let’s roll the tape…

Page contents

Landlord Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations explained

All single-let and unlicensed HMO residential landlords in England are required to comply with what has been labelled by some of the more dramatic souls in our circle as the “life saving law“, as per the following regulations:

What you need to do to comply…

The key takeaways [for landlords in England]…

Applies to tenancies that started on or after 1st October 2015…

  1. Install a smoke alarm on each floor of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  2. Equip a carbon monoxide alarm in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
  3. Check that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

Applies to tenancies from 1st October 2022…

  1. Install a smoke alarm on each floor of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.
  2. UpdatedEquip a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers/hobs).
  3. Check that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.
  4. NewEnsure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty, which must be carried out by or on behalf of the landlord as soon as “reasonably practicable”.


living accommodation
Rooms used as living accommodation include lounges, dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and separate toilets. It also includes a hall or landing.

Source: NRLA

Please, note point #2 from each set of regulations, solid fuel burning combustion appliance Vs fixed/fixed combustion appliance, because it’s terribly easy to go unnoticed.

Fixed combustion appliance
This means a fixed apparatus where fuel of any type is burned to generate heat. Typically, these appliances are powered by gas, oil, coal, wood, etc., for example, gas or oil boilers, or log-burning stoves.

In the department’s view, a non-functioning purely decorative fireplace would not constitute a fixed combustion appliance.

Source: Gov guidance notes

Solid fuel burning appliance
Any fireplace, wood burning heater or coal stove or structure that burns wood, coal or any other nongaseous or nonliquid fuels, or any similar device burning any solid fuel used for aesthetic, water heating or space heating purposes.


What this all means in practical terms…

The good news is not that much has changed, at least from I can tell, and no one should be hyperventilating into a brown paper bag and wondering where it all went wrong.

Essentially, from 1st of October 2022, the requirement for a CO alarm will extend to properties with a fixed apparatus where fuel of any type is burned to generate heat and powered by gas, oil, coal, wood, etc (remember, excluding gas cookers/hobs). This means that almost all rental properties, other than those that have entirely electric heating, will need at least one CO alarm.

Nothing seems to have changed in regards to smoke alarms.

In addition to ensuring any prescribed alarms are in proper working order on the day a new tenancy begins, the amended regulation stipulates that the landlord must ensure alarms are repaired or replaced once informed or found faulty. Presumably, many landlords, if not most, thought that was already part of the deal (because I certainly did), and most sane landlords won’t reserve practising such bog-standard safety measures for new tenancies that commence from the 1st of October 2022. That would be mental.

No, you cannot get your tenant to fit the alarms.

To clarify, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the regulation is complied with, not the letting agents or anyone acting on behalf of the landlord. Although, I believe all competent agents should have informed their landlords of the regulation and amendment, and helped facilitate with compliance if necessary. If they haven’t, it might be worth going medieval on their asses; walk into their office with your own blood smeared over your face (because that’s glaringly scary and psychotic) and start smashing shit up with a sledgehammer, while demanding to know what you’re paying them for.

That’s what I’d do anyways.

Official Government Documentation & Guides

Fortunately, the Government has published guidance for landlords and tenants in plain English on their website – that means I get to palm you off towards that direction for the nuances. Yay! I definitely recommend that ALL landlords read it.

It includes useful guidance (and covers nuances that I won’t bother repeating):

  • Types of alarms to use
  • How to test alarms are working
  • What tenants should do if they find their alarm isn’t working
  • Which tenancies are exempt from these regulations (e.g. shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family, long leases, students halls of residence etc.)
  • ..etc

Read it!

What if I don’t comply?

Good question. I also always try to determine if it’s worth dodging a few requirements if it means I’m able to fund an extra annual holiday to Magaluf.

Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000 by the local authorities. Suppose it’s also worth mentioning that lives could be saved with your compliance (because that’s nearly as important as money). According to this article on the Gov website, enforcing this legislation will help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.

Unfortunately, in this case, I’m not convinced the gamble of going without is worth it, so you may as well do as you’re told and roll over.

It has been emphasised that there is NO grace period, so landlords that have tenancies that started before October 2015 MUST comply by that date, and tenancies that start on or after October 2015 must be compliant when a tenancy begins!

Landlord Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm maintenance

You may notice there’s nothing mentioned about “maintaining” the devices, only ensuring they’re in proper working when a new tenancy begins. The guidance notes say, “After the landlord’s test on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order.”

However, some level of maintenance by the landlord before a new tenancy begins, in-between tenancies and perhaps during property inspections isn’t a bad idea and can prove to be beneficial.

  • Airborne dust and contaminants can interfere with an alarm’s ability to detect smoke/toxins, so it’s important to clean all detectors in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. There are plenty of resources available online (e.g. YouTube tutorials), which will guide you through efficient maintenance practices. Do a little research.
  • Even with regular cleaning and battery changes, smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors don’t last forever. Old devices can randomly fail, even if they “look” clean enough to eat your dinner off of and/or use as a prop for your exciting and imaginative sex-life. I read somewhere that it’s recommended to change them every 10 years.
  • If you’re a new landlord that has just purchased a new property and you’re not sure of the history of any installed alarms, it might be worth replacing them with new ones.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Most sensible landlords will already supply smoke alarms, but you’ll be forgiven for neglecting Carbon Monoxide alarms, because they’re equivalent to the ugly sister- rarely ever spoken about or touched unless completely intoxicated, and by the morning- you don’t even want to remember.

  • Smoke alarms obviously detect smoke generated by flames
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms detect dangerous Carbon Monoxide (which is a toxic gas) levels, which can be caused, for example, by malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances (e.g. log burning stove). I don’t really understand the technicalities, but the devices sound useful.

You can buy smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide alarms as separate devices, but you can also find dual purpose devices, which act as smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors. They’re all pretty inexpensive, ranging from approx £10 and upwards. But generally, I don’t see any reason to spend more than £50 on both devices. Either way, I think we can all agree they’re relatively cheap life-savers (and property-savers).

Couple of options on Amazon (affiliate links)

I did a quick search on Amazon, and here are a couple of options:

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Dual purpose Smoke & Monoxide Carbon Monoxide Alarms

You may find that some devices are battery powered, while others are mains powered. The law doesn’t specify between the two, they just need to be in good working order. But if you plan on getting a mains powered alarm(s), you may want to factor in the additional costs of an electrician to install the little life-safers.

All my properties have main powered smoke alarms and I’ll be supplying separate battery powered Carbon Monoxide alarms to those that don’t already have them.

Needless to say, many letting agents will try to take advantage of the situation by conjuring up spectacularly creative ways of profiteering from the legislation. So, if for example, you’re explicitly told that you need some special kind of device that is only accessible through their supplier(s) and can only be installed by their recommended tradesman, just give them the finger and be on your merry way. Trust me, it’s happening.

Landlord Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Receipt of Acknowledgement Form

Still awake? Cool. Not long left now. You’ve done well to last this long.

Let’s move onto good practice and protecting your ass against finger-pointing and alleged negligence. I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage self-preservation. Obvs you’re far too important to me, so I wouldn’t skip the part that could potentially keep you out of prison.

At the beginning of a new tenancy it would be wise to keep a written record of the following:

  • 1) There is a working smoke alarm on each floor;
  • 2) There is a working carbon monoxide alarm in each required room;
  • 3) All devices have been properly tested.

In fact, it’s recommended as per the Gov guidelines:

How should landlords prove that they have tested alarms at the start of a tenancy?

It is the responsibility of landlords to keep a record of when alarms are tested.

If you have a good inventory which covers those points, then cool. If not, you can download the template receipt of acknowledge form that’s available further down this page, which is the one I personally use.

Your thoughts…

So, here’s a riveting question that will transform your knickers into a delicious soggy mess… What are your thoughts on the legislation? Is there anything you wish to add?

Grab the mic and say your piece!

If this blog post has you on the edge of your seat and gasping for more (which would be totally unimaginable), you maybe interested in the Landlord Legal Responsibilities, Obligations & Regulations post, which covers a lot more of the cool landlord requirements.

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51 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Phil 16th September, 2015 @ 06:51

Fuck, that was boring.

Didn't want to disappoint you on the first post. Who is bat shit crazy enough to have a solid fuel burning combustion appliance in a rental? All my appliances (save the boiler) are electric.

You could have started with the £5000 and saved me having to read the rest.

Clear and useful post - as ever. Thx.

Guest Avatar
Bob 16th September, 2015 @ 08:23

Yep, fucking boring, but I have just fitted new co2 meters in all my properties, the manufacturers stated that the devices should be fitted in the sleeping areas and not in the same room as the appliance as previously stated. Also I was led to believe that properties with gas boilers needed this device, am I mistaken?
Anyway new co2 meters and fire blankets all fitted for about a tenner a flat is a small price to pay so you can tell the tard from the council your one step ahead.
Electrical updating will be my next fucking boring investigation.
Keep up the good work

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th September, 2015 @ 08:48


HA, I appreciate the fact you took my expectations into consideration.

I'm guessing appliances like a coal/log fires are more frequently found in cottages, in particularly holiday lets, in Cornwall, or somewhere as equally isolated.

You'd definitely be crazy to have them in more suburban areas!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th September, 2015 @ 08:54


The incomplete details in the legislation does make everything a bit baffling.

In the guide provided by the Gov, it says the following:

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in rooms containing an appliance that burns solid fuel. This means appliances that are powered using a type of solid fuel, such as coal, wood etc.

In the Department’s view, a non-functioning purely decorative fireplace would not constitute a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

I'm assuming if that included "gas boilers" it would have stated so since it's one of the major appliances in most properties. However, I think for the sake of a fiver, it's better to be safe than sorry and just supply one anyways (that's why I've supplied one even if I don't think I need one).

In regards to the positioning of the devices, the guide says:

The regulations do not stipulate where the alarms should be placed, just that at least one smoke alarm should be on every storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.

However, it does also state:

You should follow the individual manufacturer's instructions when installing the alarms. However, in general, smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space i.e. a hall or a landing, and 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.

In the event that the manufacturer's instructions conflicts with their "general" guidance, I'm assuming the former wins!

Guest Avatar
Kelly 16th September, 2015 @ 09:42

It doesn't apply in Wales because housing is devolved to the Welsh Assembly. Just in case you wanted more boring to add to your boring.

Guest Avatar
Simon 16th September, 2015 @ 09:52

Common Potential Sources of CO

Gas appliances – Gas or wood burning fireplace – Gas or Oil boiler – Clogged chimney flue – Portable gas or kerosene heaters – wood burning stove.

CO and CO2 – What’s the difference?
It’s easy to understand why people confuse CO-carbon monoxide and CO2-carbon dioxide. The names sound the same, they both are colorless and odorless gases, and at high concentration, both can kill you.

The media doesn’t help. Back in the old days, movies taught us that you could commit suicide by sticking a garden hose in your car’s tailpipe and window, then gunning the motor till the CO put you to sleep. Today they tell us the car’s tailpipe is a major source of the greenhouse gas CO2.

It’s important that you understand the difference:

About Carbon Monoxide

CO does not occur naturally in the atmosphere
CO is the result of oxygen-starved combustion in improperly ventilated fuel-burning appliances such as oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ovens, gas or kerosene space heaters, fire places and wood stoves
CO is generated by any gasoline engine that DOES NOT use a catalytic converter
It is the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries
CO Recommended Levels

OSHA limits long-term workplace exposure levels to 50ppm (parts per million)
Symptoms of mild CO poisoning include headaches and dizziness at concentrations less than 100ppm
Concentrations as low as 700ppm can be life-threatening
About Carbon Dioxide

CO2 occurs naturally in the atmosphere, and is required for plant life
CO2 is a natural byproduct of human and animal respiration, fermentation, chemical reactions, and combustion of fossil fuels and wood
CO2 is generated by any gasoline engine that DOES use a catalytic converter
CO2 poisoning is rare; however scuba divers have to watch out for it (the bends)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th September, 2015 @ 11:01

Haha brilliant, thanks fo... ZZzzzzz!

You officially took uninteresting to a new level! But I do appreciate the clarification :)

Interesting that the Gov guide didn't mention the more popular appliances that release CO (Gas appliances – Gas or wood burning fireplace – Gas or Oil boiler – Clogged chimney flue – Portable gas or kerosene heaters – wood burning stove.), but chose to opt for using coal and wood burning stove as examples.

In any case, I think everyone is safer if they just supply one!

I apologise, seems as though I stand corrected, you were correct!

Guest Avatar
Paula 16th September, 2015 @ 11:27

Interesting post (aye right...)

What about in Scotland? My (ex) letting agents keep pushing me to have a hard wired smoke alarm installed saying it's the law (and their cost for installing!). I've got a battery operated smoke alarm in the property (1 bed flat) and 2 carbon monoxide alarms. Surely this is ok??

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th September, 2015 @ 11:39


I'm not entirely sure about Scotland to be honest, but based on this article by, hard wired smoke alarms aren't required.

An alarm should be installed in accordance with the recommendations contained in BS5839 Part 6 and the landlord should ensure the alarm is regularly maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. The fitting of a hard wired smoke alarm may require a building warrant and the relevant local authorities should be consulted.

Guest Avatar
Helen 16th September, 2015 @ 15:48

Although we all had plenty of warning about this legislation, I think we can be forgiven for not taking any action so far, because the government is notorious for dropping potential legislation at the last minute. In fact, as the landlord mentioned there has been a delay to this one;
On 8th September the House of Lords refused to pass the Regulations saying there had been no consultation and agents and landlords did not have enough time to comply. The Regulations may therefore be modified regarding the date all properties must comply.
I totally agree that we should all have already fitted alarms of both sorts in all our properties, but as agents we have to persuade sometimes reluctant landlords to spent their money.Imagine if we had insisted that they all had mains fire alarms, then when the proposed law was dropped they could have sued us for multiple refunds.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th September, 2015 @ 16:01

Completely agree with everything you said!

I know there's been talk of it being delayed until January 2016 now. But for the moment, October 2015 is what's documented, and that's all we really have to go by.

Guest Avatar
Helen 16th September, 2015 @ 16:27

Received the following e-mail from ARLA 2 minutes ago;

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations will now become law on 1 October 2015 meaning that all properties in England - whether existing tenancies or new tenancies - will need to comply with the regulations by Thursday 1 October 2015.

If local authorities are notified that a property is not compliant, the landlord will be issued with a remedial notice which will allow them 28 days to comply.

The regulations - which were rejected by the House of Lords last week - were debated in a session in the House of Lords on Monday 14 September and approved in a delegated legislation committee, resulting in enforcement in England from 1 October.

While supporting the principle that all tenants should benefit from working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms ARLA has worked with members of both Houses to campaign for a practical lead-in schedule for the regulations.

Guest Avatar
Bob 17th September, 2015 @ 08:23

Just to say, what a great site. pretty tedious but loads of info, keep up the good work.

Guest Avatar
Amanda 17th September, 2015 @ 18:04

Finding your info really helpful as a new landlord - thanks and keep it coming. Just looking at your recent update on carbon monoxide alarms - found a great price for Kidde CO alarm at Costco £8.38 (inc VAT) valid from 21/09/15 until 11/10/15. Get yourselves down to Costco!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th September, 2015 @ 18:19

Brilliant, thanks for the update. I've updated this blog post.

I assume you'll be confirming with all your landlords now! Good luck with that one :)

Thanks, appreciate it.

Many thanks, appreciate it, and thanks for the tip, very useful for those that have a local Costco!

Guest Avatar
Geoff 18th September, 2015 @ 14:20

Always best to check with your local council they may already have byelaws which go the extra mile. My local authority require mains powers alarms which I've wired to the permanent live supply to the light sockets.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 18th September, 2015 @ 14:23

Ahh, thanks for letting us know.

I'm guessing the mains powered alarms are required under the selective licensing scheme?

Guest Avatar
TheAngryLandlord 20th September, 2015 @ 04:02

Not sure why folks think the blog was boring...but then I am a dorky engineer.

Some really good points raised like the protect your arse release form...I also do the same with the Fire Risk Assesment form and also sadly all the requirements imposed by the council through a selective licensing scheme (for those not subject to one yet... That would make a really interesting rant/blog).

I guess agents will figure out some way to start charging landlords a check-in service for sticking a finger on a smoke alarm test could always leave the pre-dated form in the house for tenant to sign on the day but that still might not work...

The one thing I never have really got my head around is that it's fair enough to install a CO alarm near the gas boiler (even thoug the law doesn't strictly require it) but then do others install one in the room with a gas fire as well..... In the living room it'd be as ugly as a regurgitated doner kebab on Sunday morning....

Section 21 next? Can't wait.... Still loving the blog.

Guest Avatar
Riley Franklin 21st September, 2015 @ 11:23

Thanks for putting together this very useful post. One point to bear in mind is that is shows the amount of legislation that landlords must adhere to is growing ever longer. This begs the question whether it is not better for a landlord to hand their property or properties over to a managing agent. I have found a firm that deals with everything, from finding tenants to day-to-day maintenance plus property repairs. This allows me to benefit from the rent I receive while not putting myself at risk of breaking the law.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2015 @ 11:38

Ha, I think (or at least hope) they were being facetious when they said it was boring.

I already had a little rant about the selective licensing scheme, which you can (hopefully) enjoy here.

I guess agents will figure out some way to start charging landlords a check-in service for sticking a finger on a smoke alarm test button

Haha, 100%! I'm sure they'll be milking the situation.

Well, from what I've understood, a CO alarm is required in every room with a “solid fuel burning combustion appliance”, which I believe does include a gas fire. So essentially, you may need multiple CO alarms per floor!

The thought of a regurgitated doner kebab after a piss-up literally makes me gag. But fair and accurate comparison. I suppose there is opportunity to strategically place them on shelving (the Gov's booklet says they should be positioned at head height), so they're hidden away. But ultimately, I would stick to the manufacturer's instructions suggestions, which may or may not suggest that it's perfectly reasonable/safe to keep them hidden away on shelving.

Thanks again, TAL!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2015 @ 11:45

@Riley Franklin

Thanks for the comment.

Yup, the legislation definitely is getting longer... and in some cases more complicated.

While I do understand your point, the problem is that not all letting agents actually follow or are completely aware of the legislations. But more importantly, it is ultimately the landlords responsibility to ensure the legislations are met, not the hired helps. So even the landlords that choose to use managed services should be aware of the laws, that way they can be sure they are being met... because if they're not, it will be the landlord wearing the cuffs.

I have no problems with landlords using managed services, it suits some landlords better. However, I don't think that should ever be a reason for landlords not-knowing their legal responsibilities and best practices.

Guest Avatar
Lisa Payne 22nd September, 2015 @ 10:59

When it says 'testing' between every that the device has power which is easy to check or do they mean you need to do a smoke test every time?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd September, 2015 @ 11:04

My understanding is that you just need to test the device has power- most alarms have a test button to press, which triggers the alarm. Assuming the alarm triggers, that should be enough, I believe. Moreover, the alarm manual should specify how to correctly test the device.

I don't think you need to hold a burning flame near the sensors to ensure it triggers, because then you won't be able to turn the bloody thing off until it decides it's safe. I definitely won't be doing that.

Guest Avatar
Pete 24th September, 2015 @ 22:34

Great article put in the usual entertaining way. The rules and regs re' gas and co/co2 safety are full of holes e.g. its quite o.k. to do the Sunday roast with all rings blazing along with the oven where there are co' gases spewing everywhere!! Surely, a better idea would be starve some of the ridicules law makers of another gas called 'oxygen'!

Guest Avatar
Sarah 30th September, 2015 @ 09:26

Would love to receive your updates.

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Monabri 6th October, 2015 @ 17:21

Is this actually a law - I had a look on the parliament web site and it seems to have stalled at stage 2 of 12. I'm not saying don't install them (I've just installed 3 in one property alone) cos they're a good idea. As far as I can see the bill is still at 2nd reading in house of Commons.

Guest Avatar
Monabri 6th October, 2015 @ 17:25

If you want boring let's look at legionella bacteria - the stats suggest you are very unlikely to contract it. Still, it seems like there's a new kid on the block for service charges for landlords.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 6th October, 2015 @ 17:37

It became law on the 1st of October, the legislation on the Gov website may not have been updated yet!

The whole legionella certificate/testing thing is a money-making scam by agents! Anyone 'competent' can do the assessment, and in most cases a visual assessment by the landlord will suffice.

The risk in domestic properties are small, especially where combi-boilers are installed.

Guest Avatar
Monabri 6th October, 2015 @ 18:14

Thanks for the quick reply. Just goes to show you that you can't believe what the Government (website) tells you - well I never! Can we open up a discussion on rising damp and unscrupulous "engineers" with their protimeter survey master meters - arggh my blood pressure.

Guest Avatar
Lucie 4th December, 2015 @ 08:43

Yes lets put CO2 alarms up for solid fuel that's really rare nowa days but GAS boilers - bah they'll be fine - no need to detect leakage in those - and when there's a fire they can put it out with their newly legionella tested water!

Guest Avatar
EMMA THE LANDLORD 20th January, 2016 @ 17:01

Where do you stand if your stupid, lazy pig of a tenant has removed the alarms???? I have put in writing that they had 7 days to put it back up and make sure it is fully working. But what if they don't?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th January, 2016 @ 17:31

I'm pretty certain it's their responsibility to maintain the alarms, which includes keeping them installed! We, as landlords, just need to ensure their working on the day the tenancy begins.

Make sure you keep all communication on this issue documented to cover your back.

Why the hell would they remove them though? Are they smokers, by any chance?

Guest Avatar
Trish 23rd March, 2016 @ 21:03

I was advised that smoke detectors detect particles in the air, ergo steam from a shower could set one off. Your local Fire & Rescue Team (Fire Brigade) will give advice on best practice for location within the property. Oh and they usually have a dedicated officer for Older People, so if your tenant is of a grand age and maybe restricted on mobility, F&R may fit a smoke detector with a 10yr life battery....FOC :)
I came across an instance recently where a Landlord received a letter from Social Services advising that after one of their assessments the tenant (hearing impaired) required Assisted Technology in the form of a special vibrating gismo under the pillow and cited the law! Naturally the letter wasn't very clear, told friend to find out if they were just looking for Landlord permission to supply & fit and not jump to the kerr-ching worry straight away!

Guest Avatar
Edwina 21st September, 2022 @ 09:56

Had Co2 alarms in my properties for years, but portable ones - my question is, do they need to be fixed to the wall (within this legislation/anyone with best practice recommendation?) and at what height? Thanks for the laughs, no paper bag required.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2022 @ 10:02

Hi @Edwina,

Ooooh come on, Edwina! That question is answered in the Gov guidelines:

Where do carbon monoxide alarms need to be located?

The regulations do not stipulate where the alarms should be placed.

A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in every room which is used as living accommodation containing a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).

Landlords should follow the individual manufacturer’s instructions when installing the alarms. However, in general, 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.

Your local fire and rescue authority may be able to provide further advice on installation or you can download fire safety information from


Guest Avatar
Cathy 21st September, 2022 @ 10:04

I've a flat in Scotland, and one in England - we had to have wired in, connected, smoke detectors before we were issued our safety certs. Re CMonoxide, theit is a new requirement that the detectors have an inbuilt battery so tenants can't 'temporarily borrow' the battery for the TV remote control, torch, whatever thus leaving the alarm useless. I'm going to go with this type in all our places since they're the safest, and it kind of future proofs England following Scotlands lead.

Guest Avatar
Steve 21st September, 2022 @ 10:17

just in reference of where to buy smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Screwfix are pretty competitive and tend to stick with established manufacturers complying with British Standards. They have a well spread out network of local branches if it suits!!!! ie not on commission lol!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2022 @ 10:19

Nice one, Steve, many thanks for sharing :)

Guest Avatar
Tony 21st September, 2022 @ 11:09

My letting agent informed me that at the cost of £120, they had already scheduled a 'contractor' to visit and install one.
I quickly told them I'd always had one in the kitchen where the gas combi is, they double checked with me that it hadn't expired, I wasn't aware of an expiry date, I had the tenant photo the back and yes, it has an expiry date, I think they last 6 years. I've a year left

So watch out for the expiry date!!!

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Tamar 21st September, 2022 @ 12:30

Hi, can you advise me please. I have the boiler in a small separate cupboard on the landing of the first floor . No one lives in that cupboard but I have a few bedrooms next to it. Do I need the Carbon monoxide alarm and if so, where to fix it? Thanks Tamar

Guest Avatar
Henry 21st September, 2022 @ 15:15

Thanks for the post,The Landlord.
Agree with what you say about the new Regs. and the difference between fuel burning appliances and fixed combustion applicances.
A) I got my annual Gas Safety Certificates done last month, i.e. before the new rules come in, and to get one of those certificates, the form showed that a CO alarm was already required for a gas boiler (in the cupboard, with the boiler, on the landing - sounds like Cleudo). Don't know if it was a new version of the Gas Certificate anticipating the new Regs.
SO landlords may need to install CO Alarms where there be boilers anyway: even for existing tenancies like this property.
B) Getting said CO Alarm that same day (so Certificate could be issued, thus Amazon etc. delivery no good) wasn't easy. All of Screwfix, Toolstation, B&Q, Wickes has sold out; possibly over-keen landlords buying them all up.
Surprisingly to me, Argos within Sainsburys had them in stock for collection; at about the usual price.
Got one, put it on top of boiler, so not far off head height, and then got my Gas Safety Cert.
[The only Cert. I need these days :-) ]
Hope this helps.

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Henry 21st September, 2022 @ 15:20

Hi Tamar,
Hope my post (number 41) helps answer your question, at least as far as Gas Safety Certs. which trumps the Regs.
Sorry, somehow didn't spot yours before writing mine.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2022 @ 15:29

Hi & Thanks @Henry

I'm not sure which "form" you're referring to (that showed an CO alarm was already required), but what you're describing sounds like two different issues. The new law is a specific regulation that requires landlords to install CO alarms - there was no regulation for this before. However, in your case, your plumber may have recommended you to get one during the gas safety inspection.

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Gary 21st September, 2022 @ 16:36


Are you sure that "for tenancies that commenced before 1st October 2022, CO alarms are still only required for properties with solid fuel appliances such as a stove or fire"?

Reading through Regulation 4 (Duties of relevant landlord) and the relevant amendments and it seems as though the requirement to have Carbon Monoxide alarms installed applies to all tenancies. The reference to new tenancies appears to be in relation to checking that each prescribed alarm is in working order.

Just wondering!

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Henry 21st September, 2022 @ 20:22

Hi @ The Landlord
Re. your comment 43 & mine 41 & 42, I've found the Gas Safety Record, "in accordance with the current edition of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations"
Two of the boxes for the inspector to complete are under Inspection Details:
-CO Alarm fitted Yes/No
-CO Alarm tested Pass/Fail.

This looked to me like a requirement, rather than a recommendation.
Hence I had to 'hot foot' it and go to buy one in a hurry.

Happy to send copy of form to your e-mail address if you'd like.

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Dudders 21st September, 2022 @ 21:59

I used to wonder when they'd catch up with the fact that a gas cooker is just as capable of chucking out CO as a gas heater. But they still haven't! Bonkers. Tenants in my flats have a CO detector alongside the smoke detector in the kitchen. No other heating gizmo using wood or coal is fitted, for obvious reasons and portable gas heaters are specifically forbidden in the Tenancy Agreement. Damn things are lethal.

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Tamar 21st September, 2022 @ 22:04

Hi Henry,
I looked at my gas certificate for a mention of CO alarms and didn’t find any references. If you could show me yours, that would be very helpful.
Thanks Tamar

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Henry 21st September, 2022 @ 22:40

Hi Tamar,

Sorry, I don't think I can as don't think this blog site allows uploads.(I'd need to redact some details to upload due to GDPR, anyway and I'm no good at that on a computer.)
My offer to the The Landlord was only because we know his e-mail address, from whence he sends his blog posts.
The form I have stated "in accordance..." etc as my post 45. The form has the name AH Arctic Hayes Tools and Consumables in the bottom right corner. But just tried and I couldn't find the blank pro-forma in a web search.
Always possible that different forms are of different ages, and so may vary over time. And maybe a plumber will use up an old pad.
Otherwise, I know not.

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Tamar 22nd September, 2022 @ 06:06

Hi Henry,
Thank you for your efforts.
Easier and safer to have them installed.

My best

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AG1 14th February, 2024 @ 11:27

Thanks for the insightful article

I've been advised by the local council that I now also need to Install a interlinked heat detector and a fire blanket in the kitchen - might be worth updating the blog above if it applies to all interlinked heat detector

A side question
"the smoke and co alarms (if any) are in good working order on the first day of the tenancy" Does this mean that I need to carry out the test at the point when the fixed term tenancy is up and the contracts rolls for an ongoing period?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th February, 2024 @ 08:19

Hi @AG1

No probs :)

Have you been advised by your local council under a HMO or Selective license, by any chance?

In regards to your side question, this is what The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 states:

(4) In this regulation—

“new tenancy” means a tenancy granted on or after 1st October 2015, but does not include—

(b) a periodic shorthold tenancy which arises under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988(1) on the coming to an end of a fixed term shorthold tenancy;

So essentially, by their own definition, a periodic tenancy does not count as new tenancy in this case.

Hope that helps :)

















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