• Landlords in London must keep up to date with changes in fire safety regulations
  • Protecting tenants from fire risks is a key obligation for landlords

For landlords in the London housing market, it will come as no surprise that there are numerous health and safety regulations which must be followed. However, it’s always important to stay up to date with the current legislation to avoid falling foul of the law. Protecting tenants from the risk of fire is one of the key obligations of any landlord, however tenants too have a role to play in keeping themselves and the property safe.

What do landlords in the London property market need to know about fire safety regulations?

Harry Singh, an estate agent in Hayes, reminds landlords of the need to keep up to date with changes in the law regarding fire safety. “There have been cases of landlords being fined for breaches of the fire safety standards” he says “so being aware of any changes to legislation and making sure to comply with the rules is essential for the landlord’s own protection”.

Those who rent property in West London are protected by the Housing Act 2004 along with a number of other laws which lay out the fire safety requirements placed on landlords. While some of these are fairly obvious, such as ensuring that tenants are able to easily exit the property in the event of a fire, there are some less well known obligations, especially for those who let furnished properties or HMOs.

Is electrical safety testing a requirement?

If a landlord decides to invest in property for rental purposes, they are legally obliged to check that all electrical installations are safe at the time that tenants move into the property and that they are safely maintained as long as the tenancy continues. Part of this regulation involves ensuring that all electrical sockets and provided appliances are safe and have the CE mark.

Unless the property is an HMO there is no legal requirement to inspect the property’s electrical systems, however for the landlord’s protection it is recommended that periodic tests are carried out on a 5-yearly basis, and this is mandatory in the case of houses in multiple occupation.

Henry Wiltshire estate agents help landlords to comply with the law by carrying out regular inspections on their behalf. Tenants are also required by the terms of their contract to report any electrical issues and to refrain from tampering with any of the electrics in the property.

Are there any additional requirements for furnished properties?

For landlords who are renting out a furnished property, it is important to ensure that all supplied items display the appropriate fire safe labels. Most modern furniture is now required to meet minimum standards with regards to fire retardancy, however it is still vital to check that any furnishings purchased for the rental property have intact labels still attached and that the tenant has not removed them. Tenants are prevented by the terms of their contract from bringing any flammable or hazardous items into the property for their own, and the landlord’s protection.

Do landlords need to supply smoke alarms?

Landlords in London must install a smoke alarm on every floor of the rental property and ensure that it is maintained in working order. To abide by the law, these alarms must be tested on the day that the tenant moves into the property, however after that point the responsibility for testing rests with the tenant who is obliged by the terms of their contract to test on a regular basis and to report any issues immediately so that they can be addressed.

By ensuring that they adhere to these safety regulations, landlords can be confident that they are meeting their legal obligations and that they will be well protected in the event of a fire in one of their rental properties.

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Harry and the Henry Wiltshire team are experts in the Hayes rental and property market. To buy, sell or rent property in UB3, contact the Hayes team:

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