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Fire safety first

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As figures for 2019 are released about the number of deaths in home fires, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has drawn attention to the latest fire safety campaign by the Home Office.

This is a timely reminder that landlords have an ongoing obligation to maintain adequate fire safety standards in any let property. They also must adhere to both local and national fire safety requirements in any purpose-built block of flats or a house that has been converted into flats.

If you are the landlord of any buy to let accommodation, therefore, you must:

  • ensure that all gas and electrical installations and appliance are safe to use and in good working order;
  • that means conducting an annual gas safety inspection by a Gas Safe engineer and complying with the new electrical safety checks which come into effect in England for new tenancies on the 1st of July and for existing tenancies with effect from the same date next year;
  • install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in any living space where there is a solid fuel heater or boiler – and make sure to check these (and the smoke alarms) are working on the first day of any new tenancy;
  • when buying any new electrical appliances, make sure they bear the British Safety Standard kitemark;
  • ensure all the furniture and furnishings in the let property are fire resistant and meet current safety standards;
  • install at least one fire alarm on each floor of your let property; and
  • provide copies of both the gas and electrical safety certificates to your tenants.

Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your tenants – and that means putting fire safety first.