As a landlord, you have a legal requirement to keep your rental property safe and free from health hazards. If you fail to do this and put tenants in harm’s way, you could face prosecution and compensation claims from tenant’s harmed by negligence .
So, it’s in your interests to understand your safety obligations. This will help you put the right safety measures in place to keep you’re your rental property hazard free and your tenants safe.
To help you achieve, this we’ll share four safety requirements for rental properties below.
- Fire safety
Dwelling fires have come into the spotlight over recent years in the wake of the Grenfell Towers tragedy. But there are far more incidents of fires than just the high-profile cases.
In fact, government data shows that there were more than 27,000 dwelling fires in the financial year 2021/22. It’s your responsibility to ensure that fires don’t occur at your rental property and threaten your tenants’ safety.
To abide by fire safety requirements, you must:
- Install at least one smoke alarm per “liveable” storey of their rental property
- Install one carbon monoxide alarm in any room with solid-fuel-burning appliances, as well as check that they work on move-in day
- Ensure the fire safety of any furnishings provided with the property
- Ensure access to fire escape routes at all times
- Provide sufficient fire alarms and extinguishers to tenants if the property is a house of multiple occupation (HMO)
- Gas safety
Gas appliances are more dangerous than most people think, potentially leading to fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
To abide by gas safety requirements, you must:
- Have gas equipment safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Have a registered engineer conduct safety checks on gas equipment annually
- Provide a gas safety check record to your tenants before they move in
- Electrical safety
Not only can unsafe electrical installation lead to electric shocks and burns if tenants come into contact with live parts, but they are also a major fire hazard.
To abide by electrical safety requirements, you must:
- Ensure that “fixed” electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person at least every 5 years
- Check that all plugs, sockets and adapters meet electrical safety standards
- Maintain all electrical appliances before new tenancies begin so that they’re in safe working order
- Legionnaires’ disease
Tenants can develop this potentially fatal form of pneumonia if they inhale water droplets contaminated with Legionella, a type of pathogenic bacterium. As a landlord, you need to take suitable measures to prevent the risk of this occurring.
There is a legal requirement for you to assess and control Legionella risks, but you aren’t required to get a professional to conduct an assessment or get a certificate.
Ensuring that you’re upholding your safety responsibilities as a landlord can be a challenge. But by understanding your obligations, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your tenants safe and staying on the right side of the law.