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Jill Headford

Posted 4 June 2018
by Jill Headford

Landlords – Your Legal Obligations Regarding Smoke Alarms, CO Detectors, and Other Safety Features

All landlords are required to fulfil certain legal obligations that cover basic safety practices and equipment. Ensuring these obligations are met is of the utmost importance and it is crucial landlords know what to do when it comes to fire, gas, and electrical safety.

Relevant legislation

A landlord’s legal safety obligations are set out in a variety of governmental acts, orders, and regulations. For example, fire safety requirements are covered by The Housing Act 2004, Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 2010, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.

Fire safety obligations include:

  • At least one smoke alarm must be fitted on every storey of the building.
  • A carbon monoxide detector and alarm must be fitted in every room in which there is a ‘solid fuel burning appliance.’ This type of appliance includes wood burning stoves and coal fires, among other things.
  • Ensure residents have access to escape routes at all times.
  • Ensure that all furnishings, fittings, furniture provided by the landlord are fire safe.
  • Fit fire extinguishers and fire alarms if the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Gas safety obligations include:

  • Have all gas-powered equipment and appliances installed and maintained by a fully certified, Gas Safe-registered engineer.
  • Have an annual inspection of gas equipment carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer.
  • Provide residents with a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check taking place.

Electrical safety includes:

  • Ensuring that the electrical system in the property is safe and fully functional. This means testing and securing light fittings, switches, and any other parts of the electrical system tenants have access to.
  • Ensuring all electrical items and appliances supplied by the landlord are safe. This includes larger appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers, as well as smaller items, such as kettles and toasters.

The fire, gas, and electrical obligations listed above represent the bare minimum a landlord needs to do in order to ensure their property is legally prepared for rental many landlords will offer additional safety for example by opting to install smoke detectors in every room of a HMO.

For more information about how the obligations may affect your rental property please call a member of Residential Landlord & Tenant team at Tozers on 01392 207020.

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About the author

Jill Headford

Jill Headford

Partner and Solicitor

A partner in the firm since 1994 and an experienced Court and Tribunal advocate, Jill specialises in resolving disputes and is a member of the Property Litigation Association