A new UK law expected to come into effect around October this year will make the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms compulsory in all private and social rented property in England and Wales.

it already is a legal requirement in Scotland to provide linked ‘hard wired’ smoke alarms on stair landings and in living rooms. Scotland also requires heat detectors in kitchens area and carbon monoxide alarms wherever there is a gas appliance.

Dorian Gonsalves of letting firm Belvoir said there are growing levels of fire safety legislation governing rental properties.

“Fire safety considerations and compliance are a critical factor when putting a property up for rental and this has always been a complicated area, with different regulations for different types of properties in different parts of the UK,” he said.

“This new ruling, making detectors and smoke alarms compulsory, is a major step forward and should provide clarity for the rest of the UK’s landlord population.”

Every type of property will have its own set of specific fire safety requirements covering bedsits, new builds and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Regulations will include gas appliances, pipe work and flues being maintained in a safe condition, with annual inspections and proof of compliance via a Gas Safety certificate. There also will be product safety requirements covering electrical equipment, plugs, sockets, furniture and furnishing materials.

Tenants will be required to regularly test specific items in the home and report any problems.