Health and safety are of paramount importance to tenants, and an essential part of preventing avoidable accidents is fitting adequate alarms. Landlords may be keyed upon requirements regarding smoke alarms, but carbon monoxide alarms are of equal importance. They need to be professionally fitted in the most appropriate location in the property.

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According to the consumer association Which?, this knowledge is particularly lacking amongst Edinburgh property agents. For expert information, it is simply a matter of looking at the relevant place on the HSE website: You may also want to look at using some Property Inventory Software like the one available from to ensure you are reminded when key items such as fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your properties need to be tested and replaced.

Key facts

-A survey was carried out of 30 properties in the UK, including six agents in Edinburgh. Information was obtained undercover.
-Renting is increasingly popular in the UK, including Scotland, particularly amongst the under-35 age group. With rented accommodation, it is the responsibility of the landlord, not the tenant, to ensure that health and safety requirements are adhered to.
-Gas-burning boilers are a main source of heating; they are completely safe but do have the potential for leakage and need to be serviced regularly.
-Carbon monoxide alarms are easily obtainable and are a legal requirement. They also need to be tested regularly and maintained in working order.

Shocking facts about UK landlords, agents, and their properties

-People die every year in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning.
-Two-thirds of landlords were unaware of the requirements and unable to give information on the age of boilers in properties; they were also unable to provide information about whether or not alarms had been fitted and when they had last been tested.
-Which? also found that many of the agents were rude and unhelpful when asked for pertinent information about the safety of their properties.

In addition to purchasing adequate carbon monoxide alarms for their properties, landlords need to ensure that gas boilers are regularly serviced as a part of their legal safety requirements.

Other shocking facts about landlords revealed by Which?

-Many rental properties are damp and leaking and have graffiti on the walls. Damp inevitably leads to the long-term development of mold.
-Other general maintenance and repair of properties are also inadequate.
-Some agents were even unable to give information about the location of smoke alarms.