The law is very unclear about whether smoke alarms should be fitted in residential property. The Smoke Detection Act 1991 made it mandatory to fit mains-powered smoke alarms in new residential buildings – one to each floor. For older residential property, a landlord has a ‘duty of care’ to fit alarms, and if alarms are fitted, they should comply with BS5446 Part 1. A clause should be inserted in the tenancy agreement stating that the tenant is responsible for testing the smoke alarms regularly, replacing the batteries when necessary.
More specific rules on smoke alarms apply to HMOs, and details should be sought from the Local Authority.