The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has urged landlords to make sure their tenants are safe from fires.

The Association recently pointed out that in the year ending June 2019, 215 people lost their lives due to house fires — including tenants in rented homes. It is estimated that faulty electrics cause about 4000 fires in the home each year.

Landlords are being urged to take the following action.

  • Make sure all gas and electric appliances are safe and in good working order.

  • Ensure the property has at least one smoke alarm on every level of the property used as living accommodation.

  • Have gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered gas fitter every year.

  • Only supply electrical appliances with the British Safety Standard sign.

  • Ensure furnishings are fire resistant and meet safety regulations.

  • Show tenants safety certificates outlining when gas and electrical appliances were last checked.

  • Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is present in all rooms that contain a solid fuel burning appliance and are used as living accommodation. These must be tested, along with the required smoke alarms, on the first day of the tenancy.

The Government has confirmed that five-year safety checks will be mandatory for landlords for all new tenancies from 1 July 2020. This will be rolled out to all existing tenancies from April 2021.

The new regulations will require pre-tenancy and five-yearly checks of all fixed appliances and wiring and landlords failing to comply with the new rules will face fines of up to £30,000.

The Home Office has also re-launched its fire safety campaign including information and advice for landlords and tenants and has produced a leaflet on fire safety in shared or rented accommodation.

In addition, the RLA’s guide for landlords offers an overview of fire safety legislation and guidance, as well as practical tips on keeping tenants safe.

Last reviewed 12 February 2020