Protecting tenants and properties from the risk of fire is an essential legal obligation for landlords. To ensure you are doing all required, here is our landlords’ guide to fire safety in rental properties.
What do landlords need to be aware of?
It is vital for landlords and letting agents to know what is expected of them regarding fire safety in their rental properties. Their obligations are set out in several regulations:
• The Housing Act 2004
• Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010
• The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005)
• The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, which has recently been amended to place further obligations on landlords
What is required from landlords?
The government has set out landlord safety responsibilities, stipulating what a landlord must do; these include:
· Following safety regulations
· Providing a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example, a coal fire or wood burning stove)
· Check you have access to escape routes at all times
· Make sure the furniture and furnishings supplied are fire safe
· Provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO)
These responsibilities provide an overview of what needs to be achieved. Still, they don’t reflect all that needs to be done to ensure that a landlord’s requirements are met, that is, to do what is practically possible to ensure the safety of residents.
Landlords must understand the details set out in the various legislative documents and regulations as these add the detail, for example:
• Electrical safety inspections
• Portable appliance testing
• Gas safety checks
Properties that are houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have additional fire safety rules such as marked fire exits and the provision of extra equipment, such as fire extinguishers. This highlights the importance of considering the property you own or intend to purchase and knowing the safety requirements.
Ongoing compliance: inventories and inspections
Essential tools for landlords to ensure they continue to meet the fire safety requirements are inspections and inventories. A legal requirement for many rental properties, they also benefit all landlords, who can keep track of the state of their investment.
At No Letting Go, we are always on top of the legal requirements placed on landlords. We can ensure they always stay compliant through comprehensive and regular inspections and completion of inventories.
Not only does this ensure that legal standards are met, but they also offer a piece of mind for both landlords and tenants that they are in a safe environment. We also make sure that landlords are prepared for any changes in legal requirements that may be heading their way regarding fire safety.
Services such as our block management inspections provide an independent assessment and record of fire safety at the property. Importantly, inspections can also be tailored to your property’s needs and provided at agreed intervals to keep on top of fire safety obligations.
No Letting Go
No one wants to take risks with fire safety. To discover how safety inspections can protect your tenants and your property or how our local support or national network at No Letting Go can streamline your costs and reduce workload, contact No Letting Go today.
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