Helpful Tips Property Management

Call of the Week-Do I need a carbon monoxide alarm?

Call of the week
Landlord Advice
Written by Landlord Advice

This week’s Call of the Week is from a landlord who is new to the sector.

He recently became a landlord after he inherited a property from a relative, and had made the decision that he wants to rent it out.

Before doing so, this landlord wanted to make sure the property was in a fit state. He has never been a landlord before, but had heard from a landlord friend that by law he is required to have carbon monoxide alarms fitted throughout the property.

With winter approaching and the landlord wanting tenants in the property ideally before Christmas, and he gave our advice team a call to ask what he was legally required to do.

Response from our landlord advice team

As the weather turns much cooler and more cookers and fires are being lit to get warm, it’s no surprise that our advice team have seen a slight rise in the number of calls relating to obligations around fire safety of late.

The advisor informed this landlord that by law, regulations require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rooms with a solid fuel appliance. For example, this could be a coal fire or wood burning stove.

However, it is strongly advisable for this landlord to check with their insurers and the local authority about these requirements. This is because a property could be in a licensing area, and it could even be the case that there is a licensing condition around carbon monoxide alarms that landlords need to be aware of.

What happened

The landlord confirmed that there is one coal fire in the property, and said that he would install a carbon monoxide alarm as soon as he could before he markets the property to find tenants, as well as giving his insurers and local authority a call.

The advisor also recommended that this landlord signed up to the Principles of Lettings course for an overview of the core principles when it comes to being a landlord. As well as this, the advisor suggested that the landlord signed up to the RLA’s Foundation Fire Safety e-learning course, which for the month of November is 10% off.

Landlord Advice Team Manager Rupinder Aujla said:

“With winter well and truly on its way, its no surprise that our advice team are seeing more calls relating to open fires and their obligations when it comes to fire safety. Boilers should be working and in a good condition before the temperatures fall further in November also.”

“I would urge any members who may be confused about the requirements around carbon monoxide alarms, smoke detectors and fire safety in general gives our advice team a call”.

The landlord thanked the advisor for their time.

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About the author

Landlord Advice

Landlord Advice

On-demand phone support from our landlord advisors is a big feature of RLA membership and is seen by many of our members as the most important service we offer. You can call the team in total confidence and be assured that the advice you'll receive is friendly, pertinent, up-to-date and practical.

Access to the advice team is FREE for all RLA Members.


  • The one house where I didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, my gas engineer said the latest Gas Safe regulations require one for all rental properties, as even a fully sealed condensing boiler could conceivably develop a leak.
    For the £20 cost, I wasn’t going to quibble.

  • Carbon monoxide alarms are cheap and easy to buy. It’s harder to decide where to place them in a house, so I fitted two just to be sure. They are battery-powered, so either the landlord or the tenant will need to check that the devices are working. The ones I have are made by Kidde and give out a periodic green flash to show they are active.

    In the tenancy agreement, tenants are made responsible for replacing batteries but in fact I will do it as landlord simply for peace of mind. I can claim the cost of alarms and batteries as legitimate expenses for tax purposes, so I feel no grievance about this. Life is too short and can be made shorter by lack of these simple devices.

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