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 Keeping your tenants safe from carbon monoxide

As a landlord, it’s crucial that you understand your legal responsibilities to keep your properties – and your tenants - safe.

Carbon monoxide (CO) safety should be at the top of your priority list. If you take it seriously, you’ll protect your tenants and yourself.  If you don’t, you could face fines of up to £5000 and potential legal issues. At worst, you could be responsible for a tenant becoming seriously ill from carbon monoxide poisoning – or even losing their life.

Your key responsibilities

Whether you’ve got long term tenants in multiple properties or tourists spending a weekend in your holiday cottage, you’re legally obliged to protect them from CO.


Install alarms

Protect your tenants by fitting carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms with fuel-burning appliances. Provide smoke alarms on each floor with living spaces. Make sure the alarms meet the British minimum standard BS EN 50291-1


Maintain appliances and alarms

Book in annual services with a qualified engineer for all fuel-burning appliances, including boilers, cookers and water heaters. Be prompt about repairing or replacing faulty smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.


Comply with regional laws

Stay informed about the differences in regulations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We’ve covered these in more detail below.


Educate your tenants

Help keep tenants informed of CO safety by providing safety information to the people living in your property. This includes symptoms of CO poisoning and what action to take if an alarm sounds.

Understanding the law

Regulations around CO alarms are different depending on where you are in the UK. We’ve outlined them below.


The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 requires landlords to ensure any room used as living accommodation which contains a fuel-burning appliance is equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm (excluding gas cookers).

This applies to all landlords, both social and private.

As a landlord, you’re also responsible for repairing or replacing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms once you’ve been informed and they have found to be faulty.

If you’re found to be in breach of these regulations, you could be fined up to £5000 for each breach.

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Since 2022, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, under Fitness for Human Habitation regulations, mandates landlords to ensure working CO alarms are fitted in properties with gas, oil-fired or solid fuel-burning appliances.

Landlords in Wales and England are also subject to Building Regulations Document J - England and Wales. This states that any new or replacement solid-fuel appliances require a BS EN 50291 kitemarked carbon monoxide alarm.

These alarms should be fitted in the same room as the appliance. They can be mains or battery powered.


Since 2022, every home - whether rented or owned - must have a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a fuel-burning appliance or a flue (excluding cooking appliances).

If you’re a landlord, you are responsible for providing the alarms. They must meet British Standards (EN 50291-1) and have a sealed battery.

If you’re in a landlord in Scotland, you are also legally obliged to fit a smoke alarm on each floor of living accommodation (since 2015).

You are responsibility for swiftly repairing or replacing faulty smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

If you don’t comply, you may face a fine.

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Northern Ireland

Since October 31, 2012, all homes in Northern Ireland with new fossil fuel appliances must have CO alarms, following changes to The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Additionally, the recent Private Tenancies Act, effective April 27, 2022, requires landlords in Northern Ireland to install and repair carbon monoxide alarms in privately rented homes.

Holiday Rentals

Regulations for carbon monoxide alarms in holiday rentals vary by country. In England, landlords must equip alarms in rooms with fixed combustion appliances, and non-compliance can result in fines imposed by local authorities. Failure to comply may result in a fine of up to £5,000. Always check your holiday accommodation for a carbon monoxide alarm.

In Scotland, the Tolerable Standard, enacted this year, mandates carbon monoxide alarms in all homes.

In Wales, Fitness for Human Habitation Regulations requires landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with gas, oil, or solid fuel-burning appliances.

Gas safe Register

In April 2009, the Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI as the scheme under which anyone carrying out domestic and commercial gas work must be registered in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. 

The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) released a report, Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action, in 2015.


CO pocket guide

Download and share our FREE pocket guide with your tenants.


Carbon monoxide video

Watch and share our carbon monoxide video to let your tenants know about carbon monoxide.

Spread the word

If you have found this webpage useful, share it on social media using hashtag #COintheknow

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