Safety standards in rented properties

This page provides information about the responsibilities of a landlord regarding safety in rented properties.

Gas Safety
Landlords are required to:
  • make sure gas equipment supplied is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • provide an up to date gas safety certificate, these must be carried out each year
  • provide a copy of the gas safety check record before tenants moves in, or within 28 days of the check
For more detailed information, visit this Health and Safety Executive guidance.
Electrical Safety
Your landlord is responsible for ensuring:
  • the electrical system is safe, for example sockets and light fittings
  • all appliances supplied are safe, for example cookers and kettles
  • that you have a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR), showing a satisfactory result

The below video contains additional information about electrical safety in the home and what to do when there is an electrical fault.

Fire Safety
Fire safety measures protect lives. They limit the damage caused to a property, the costs of clean-up, repair, and re-decoration. The video below summarises measures which should be taken to minimise the risk of a fire igniting in your home. It also outlines the importance of creating a fire escape plan and information about fire and smoke alarms.

The following paragraphs outline some relevant issues and signpost you to information.

Legal Requirements & Guidance
The smoke alarm regulations state that smoke detection must be present on each storey of any rented property. This alone may be adequate for a low risk, single family house. It is not enough for an HMO where the risks from fire increase.

Housing Act 2004
Under the Housing Act 2004 a fire hazard can be identified, assessed, and a notice can be served requiring work to any property (or prohibit it’s use). The hazard is risk assessed using The Housing Health & Safety Rating System.
The risk assessment will decide what fire precautions should be put in place, with reference to the LACORS’ guide.
The LACORS’ guide explains, with examples, what fire safety precautions are suitable for different properties.

Fire safety in HMOs
In a HMO, the aim of fire safety measures is that an alarm system will quickly alert occupants to a fire that starts anywhere in the property. The occupants should then leave their accommodation, via a protected route, out to a place of safety.
The door to each person’s accommodation, or the kitchen/lounge, should automatically shut behind them as they leave, keeping any fire within the room in which it starts, and stopping it from spreading through the property.
This helps protect the lives of the occupants and the fire fighters who tackle the fire.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Enforced by the Fire Authority, this will apply to the common parts of HMOs. This places legal duties on anyone in control of a licensable HMO (the ‘Responsible Person’ – usually the owner). The Responsible Person must conduct a fire risk assessment, and put in place and maintain general fire precautions. Note: the LACORS’ guide has information on this duty, and on doing your own fire risk assessment.

If a fire occurred in your property you may need to show your fire risk assessment and associated records of tests and checks if asked. It is very important that you do regular checks. Keep records of these, whether on paper or electronically, so that you can show your due diligence should the need arise. The need to do this is a condition of an HMO licence.

Contact the HMO Team
Appropriate fire safety measures for your HMO are described in the LACORS’ guide. We encourage you to read that guide and refer to it when fire safety queries arise.
If you cannot find the information you need within the LACORS’ guide, please email your query to the HMO team.
Building safety
The video below contains information on some common causes on accidents in the home, and advice on ensuring your property is safe.

This video outlines the common causes of trips and falls in the home and advice on how to maintain the property to lower the risk of trips and falls occurring in your rented property.

For more detailed information, visit landlord safety responsibilities.
Last updated on 06/06/2024