Private Tenancies Act Section 8 coming into force on 1 September

The Smoke, Heat and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2024 set the standards for the number and type of alarms that must be installed in privately rented properties. Once they come into force, letting agents and landlords will be responsible for installing and keeping alarms sufficient in any property they rent out.

Smoke alarm close up on white wall.jpg

The rules will apply to new tenancies from 1 September 2024 and all other private tenancies from 1 December 2024.

Where and how many?

A property must have a minimum of one:

  • heat alarm in every kitchen
  • smoke alarm in the main living area (usually the living room or lounge) and circulation space
  • carbon monoxide alarm in each room or circulation space that has a gas appliance other than a gas cooker (for example a gas fire or a boiler)

If a smoke alarm is more than 7.5 metres from any point in the room then another alarm must be installed.

Electrician working on fuse box
20 Sep 2023
Views sought on next phases of the Private Tenancies Act


At the start of any tenancy, the letting agent or landlord must confirm that the tenant is satisfied all alarms are in working order. There must be a record of when alarms are installed or replaced, and a copy should be given to the tenant.

Tenants must be advised they need to test the alarms once per week and report any faults as soon as possible. Once a fault is reported, or when an alarm is due to be replaced, the letting agent or landlord must take remedial action.


Failure to comply with the regulations is an offence and negligent landlords or agents could face legal proceedings. Fines could be as much as £2,500.

Propertymark welcomes the introduction of mandatory smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in private rented property in Northern Ireland. These measures will improve the safety of tenants and help professionalise the sector.

We have long called for these reforms, and it is pleasing to see a lead in time for letting agents and their landlords to comply. We encourage agents to understand the changes and get ahead by installing and checking alarms before the new Regulations come fully into force later in the year.

Timothy Douglas
Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark
Read the regulations in full