Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The Government has introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015) to make landlords in the private rented sector in England responsible for ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately installed and are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy.

Since the 1 October 2015 landlords have had to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG. Landlords or agents will then have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy. For example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

During the tenancy it is a tenant’s responsibility to ensure the alarms work and it is their responsibility to change the batteries during the tenancy. However, should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for replacing them

Furniture and Furnishing Regulations

When renting a property furnished you must ensure that certain types of furniture and furnishings provided meet the current safety regulations. Failure to comply with the regulations is a criminal offence enforced by local Trading Standards Officers. The regulations say that all furniture in tenanted residential property must comply with the 1993 amendments to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

The regulations apply to:

  • Arm chairs, three piece suites, sofas, sofa beds, futons and other convertible furniture.
  • Beds, Bed bases and headboards, mattresses, divans and pillows.
  • Nursery furniture
  • Garden furniture which could be used indoors
  • Loose, stretch and fitted covers for furniture, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows.

The regulations excluded:

  • Antique furniture or furniture manufactured before 1950
  • Bed clothes and duvets
  • Loose mattress covers
  • Pillowcases
  • Sleeping bags
  • Curtains
  • Carpets

Gas Safety

As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. In relation to gas appliances you have three main responsibilities:


Pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Gas Safety Checks

A 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.


A record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.

If we manage your property for you we will arrange for the gas safety check to be carried out by one of our Gas Safe Registered engineers. If we do not manage your property but you require a Gas Safe Registered engineer please call us and we will be happy to recommend you one.

Tenancy Deposits

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From 6th April 2012, deposits for all ASTs in England and Wales must be protected within 30 calendar days of receipt by the landlord/letting agent. The legislation aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit will get it back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property. All deposits received by us are safeguarded with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

The following is a breakdown of how deposits were returned in 2008/09

  • 70% were returned in full
  • 17% were returned in part
  • 13% were not returned at all

The reasons given by landlords for withholding some or all of a deposit were:

  • damage to the property (23%)
  • cleaning the property (38%)
  • unpaid rent or bills (8%)
  • other reasons (28%)