Fire Safety Regulations For Landlords

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A photograph of two people installing fire safety equipment

Private renting is a lucrative option to make money, but it entails a considerable responsibility for landlords. You must ensure the commitments and obligations as a private landlord to protect tenants from hazards and adhere to fire safety regulations.

Fire is one of the most devastating hazards that take lives and poses significant financial loss and reduced trust in your rental property.

As a landlord, there are some obligations you must comply with to ensure your property is safe from fire hazards. Moreover, you need to provide proof of the safety of your place.

Most importantly, it would be best if you kept up to date with the latest regulations in your area. You can receive help from your local authority to ensure you have up-to-regulation safety systems.

This guide will assist you in making sure your rental property is legally safe by discussing the fire safety regulations for landlords.

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Prerequisites For A Compliant Rental Property

In UK rental properties, some regulations related to fire safety are mandatory:

  • You should install a smoke alarm on each floor and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a combustion appliance like a wood-burning stove or coal fire.
  • The tenants should always have easy access to fire exits.
  • Furniture and furnishings in your rental property should be fire retardant.
  • Fire alarms and extinguishers should be provided if your rental property is a large house with multiple occupations (HMO).
  • A registered gas engineer should conduct annual gas safety inspections, and a landlord gas safety certificate should be issued.

Fire Safety Regulations For Landlords

Fire safety is an essential element of residential safety regulations, and you should know about them to ensure your compliance as a landlord.

Below is a brief breakdown of the regulations you need to follow:

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010.

If landlords want to furnish their property before renting it out, they ensure all furniture is gas-safe and fire-retardant.

Note that the regulation covers every item that contains upholstery, so you must be careful in selecting your sofa, sofa bed, mattress, curtains etc.

The Housing Act 2004

Concerning fire safety, the Housing Act states that every tenant must have an easy route to escape if a fire erupts.

Moreover, the landlord should undergo repairs on the “fabric of the property”, such as ceiling and floors, to minimise the spread of fire.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

The Regulatory Reform covers the fire safety of shared communal areas. HMOs or blocks of flats have stairwells, hallways, and shared community spaces. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines and punishments.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Landlords must install warning systems in their rental property, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to alert the tenants. Failing to do so may result in a fine.

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Landlords should be committed to ensuring the safety of their property before renting it out.

The regulation does not add more responsibility on landlords than those addressed by previous rules, but it allows tenants to take you to court if your rental property is uninhabitable.

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

This new law was enforced in January 2023 following the safety guidelines published in the previous year. The regulation seeks cost-effective fire safety solutions for leaseholders to secure blocks of flats.

Responsible persons are now obliged to meet new requirements, such as informing the local fire and rescue service (FRS) about the external wall system, floor plan, and building plan to minimise fire risks.

Building Regulations

Building regulations also influence fire safety, especially if you plan to refurbish your property before renting it out. You need to follow the latest rules and regulations related to building works.

If you own a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you must follow more intense and specific regulations, such as fire blankets. However, these guidelines and rules change from one local authority to another, so you must research before leasing your property.

One thing is sure — a landlord must do everything that comes under their domain to protect the safety of their landlords.

Your landlord must know about the possible escape routes, and all the equipment must have a European or British safety mark.

Why Are Inspections Essential?

Faulty gas and electric appliances can cause havoc —- your devices should undergo regular inspections by a certified engineer.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 commits landlords to carry out regular gas checks of their gas appliances by a Gas Safe registered engineer and update their gas safety certificate yearly.

Moreover, you should inventory your gas safety system and record what you have put into your property. If any fire incident occurs due to an unsafe addition by a tenant, this inventory will prove that you are not responsible for the event.

Fire Safety In Flats

If you own a flat, you need to check the safety of your apartment. If you own a whole block of flats, you must be more cautious and take responsibility for communal areas and the space between each building.

Fire Safety in House of Multiple Occupations

Fire safety in HMOs requires many responsibilities to ensure security — in a place where many people live and do not know each other, the chances of mishaps and disasters are considerable. Some key measures to ensure the safety of HMOs include:

  • Ensure the fire extinguishers, blankets and alarms are installed correctly and in good operating condition.
  • Marking fire exits and ensuring the instructions are provided to tenants for emergencies.
  • Annual gas safety checks and electric checks once in five years.
  • Exit routes are free from any hurdles to ensure a smooth passage.
  • Certified fire doors that close automatically.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring the safety of their tenants.

Therefore, they should know about the fire safety regulations in their area to show their compliance and deter hefty punishments.

By complying with these guidelines and regulations, you can avoid significant financial and reputation loss. Whatever safety measures you have carried out in your rental property, ensure your tenants know them.

They should know about exit routes, fire safety instructions, and other emergency measures to keep them safe in a fire incident. It will help if you read all the discussed fire safety regulations in detail to ensure the safety of your rental property.

This article was written by Shoaib, a copywriter with a background in the technical field and business, which helps him tackle topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing.

Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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About Tom Condon 126 Articles
Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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