The Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 require landlords to take all reasonable steps to ensure their premises are made safe from fire. The Housing Act is enforced by the Local Housing Authority and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) is enforced by the Local Fire Authority.
The FSO introduced duties in relation to fire safety in the common areas of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), flats, maisonettes and sheltered accommodation. The duty is placed on the “responsible person”, who is required to carry out a risk assessment and take specific action to minimise the risk of fire. Responsible person means “the person who has control of the premises in connection to carrying on of trade, business or other undertaking”. In practice this will usually be the landlord.
If a tenant requires a visit from the fire service for fire safety advise, they can book a Safe and Well Visit.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
The regulations require private rented sector landlords, from 1 October 2015, to have:
- At least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property, which is used as living accommodation, and
- A carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used – after that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
This regulation came into force on 1st October 2015 as part of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.
The Government estimate the regulations will result in up to 36 fewer fatalities and 1,529 fewer injuries over a 10 year period.
Landlords can purchase alarms at local hardware stores or online.
If you are a private tenant and you do not think your landlord has complied with the regulations, you should contact your local housing authority as they are responsible for enforcing the regulations.
- Visit the government website to view Fire Safety Risk Assessment Sleeping Accommodation
- View LACORS national guidance notes National guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing.
- View the Local Government Association Fire Safety in Purpose Built Flats Guidance
- See a copy of the Housing Act on the government legislation page
- Visit the government webpage on Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- Visit the Government website to view the Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide alarms Guidance Booklet for Landlords