The Government has announced that, as of October 2015, it will be mandatory for landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their properties in a bid to raise safety and reduce the number of deaths from CO incidents in the rental sector.

The move is expected to prevent some 26 fatalities and 670 injuries per year and is part of wider Government actions being undertaken to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety.

The proposed changes to the law would require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms – such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed. Failure to comply could see landlords face up to a £5,000 civil penalty.

Steve Martin, Head of the Fire and Security Association, said: “This announcement will help improve the safety of rented accommodation and punish those landlords who are putting the safety of their tenants at risk for the sake of saving a relatively small sum of money. Now private rented properties will be brought into line with the existing building regulations that require newly-built home to have hard-wired smoke alarms installed. Installers have an integral role to play in the success of these new proposals by informing landlords of their new obligations and recommending the most suitable alarms.”