Landlords must provide:
- a safe means of escape from fire (usually a main stairwell, which should be kept free of flammable materials and obstructions)
- safe electrical wiring with sufficient sockets to prevent overloading
- safe kitchens with cookers properly sited
- adequate heating to minimise the use of portable heaters
- furniture that complies with current fire safety standards
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Recent regulations state that all rented property must have a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm (if there's a solid fuel burning appliance) on each level of the property at the start of any tenancy.
Normally this can be met by installing a stand-alone battery smoke detector, however a higher level of protection may be needed in some properties (for example houses in multiple occupation). GOV.UK has further advice and guidance on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for landlords.
The fine for failing to comply with these regulations is £5,000. See our statement of principles in relation to enforcement of these regulations:
Fire safety standards
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has published the fire safety book 'LACORS Housing - Fire Safety Guidance' which describes the standards of fire safety which may be required in a range of housing situations, including single family houses, self-contained flats and HMOs. It also provides guidance on carrying out risk assessments.
GOV.UK has further advice and guidance on fire safety law and for businesses.
Regulations that apply:
- The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005
- The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
- The Licensing and management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (additional provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO)