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Landlord's Safety Responsibilities

Landlords' Safety Responsibilities in Rented Properties

In private rented accommodation your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards, and has certain responsibilities in relation to gas safety, electrical safety and fire safety.

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is legally responsible for ensuring the safety, working and servicing of all heating and hot water installations. Although the wording can seem ambiguous, this also refers to open fires, Rayburns, Agas, coal and wood burning stoves.  This responsibility includes all flues and ventilation, therefore under this Act, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to have all chimneys swept annually in a rental property. 

In regard to chimneys, Landlords must ensure that at the start of a tenancy, chimneys and flues for solid fuel heating are swept and unobstructed. Thereafter a tenant can be made responsible for regular chimney sweeping under the terms of the tenancy agreement but we would recommend that in some situations, Landlords may consider managing this aspect of the property themselves.

Fire Safety in Rented Properties

Your landlord must:

  • follow safety regulations

  • provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example a coal fire or wood burning stove)

  • check you have access to escape routes at all times

  • make sure the furniture and furnishings they supply are fire safe

  • provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO)

Safety in Domestic Properties

There is no fire safety legislation that covers existing homes and no government would attempt to legislate for the home, an Englishman's home is his castle an old adage but never the less a true one. The head of the household has a duty and responsibility for looking after the family, consequently it is considered that no legislation will ever be required. However keeping to the above guidelines would be considered prudent.


The common areas of flats and maisonettes are controlled by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and this order lays down certain requirements, check them out at the above link.

Further Information:

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