It was reported recently that a property landlord in Nottingham was fined over £3,000 because he was negligent in protecting his tenants from the risk of fire. The amount of the fine is sending out a strong message to landlords the importance of protecting their tenants from these risks.
You may be thinking that the law is only in place for people runnng a business and renting out several properties. You will be wrong in this assumption. The law also applies to private individuals looking to rent out their properties – all landlords have a duty of care to their tenants.
If you are a private individual looking to rent out a property, it can be helpful to employ a lettings agent. Please be aware that even if you employ a lettings agent the responsibility still lies with you, the owner of the property, to comply with fire safety regulations. You, as a landlord, must rely on your own understanding of the law because you will be leaving yourself wide open to prosecution if your chosen lettings agent is not fully up to speed and there is a fire in the property.
To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, you as a landlord will be responsible for:
- Making provision for an adequate means of escape.
- For all properties build after June 1992, mains operated smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor
- For older properties, battery-operated smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor
- Furnishings, made after 1950 should meet fire resistance regulations.
- All dangerous appliances should be removed.
If you are privately renting out just one property, then you will have to adhere to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which came into effect in October 2006 This law is not to “catch you out” but to protect your tenants. The advice is not to put your profits above your tenants’ safety because all landlords have a duty of care to their tenants.
Remember, if you rent out your property as an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) or as a block of flats, you will require a fire risk assessment.
DB Fire Safety specialises in helping landlords meet their responsibilities under the Order and carrying out fire risk assessments; serving Peterborough, Northampton, Cambridge, Leicester and Bedford.
To arrange a free consultation, please call David Black on 0800 772 0559