The responsibility of providing (and equally importantly, maintaining) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can seem a bit of a grey area to many landlords and tenants. We explain who’s responsible for these crucial alarms in rental properties.

Working alarms save lives, fact. It sounds morbid, but according to, in the event of a fire in a home, occupants are at least four times more likely to die if there’s no working smoke alarm. It is also a legal requirement that all rental properties in England follow the Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Regulations.

These regulations require the landlord to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation, and a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance such as a wood burner or coal fire.

Who’s responsible for fire alarms and smoke detectors in a rental property?

Following the provision of these alarms, the landlord must make sure smoke alarms in rental properties are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

However, here’s where there’s a grey area: it is the tenants who are responsible for replacing batteries or reporting faults mid-tenancy.

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