Safety in rented property
Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards. The government's How to rent a safe home contains useful information on what you can expect from a good landlord renting a safe home. You may also find the general how to rent guide of use when considering different properties, landlords and lettings agents, so you are aware of what is required from you and your prospective landlord/letting agent.
If you are finding it difficult to get repairs done by your landlord then you can complete the online checker which will give you ideas about what to do next, along with links to more information.
The following information covers the basic safety requirements that Landlords should stick to.
The law says that gas appliances must be properly installed and maintained to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The landlord must get all gas appliances including central heating systems, heaters, fires, cookers and gas pipe work and flues checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered installer. Your landlord must hold a certificate or record that the gas appliances they provide in your home are safe for use and provide you with a copy of this certificate or record within 28 days of the check being completed. This certificate is known as a CP12.
The landlord should ensure that the electrical installation in a property is in a safe and satisfactory condition; it is also an offence for a landlord to supply unsafe electrical equipment. The law says that the electrical installation should be inspected every 5 years. Your landlord should provide you with a copy of this certificate within 28 days of the check being completed. This certificate is known as an EICR.
All private landlords must ensure the fire safety of their tenants as well as offer protection against carbon monoxide poisoning. Landlords are required to install a smoke alarm on every habitable floor (e.g. where there is a bedroom, toilet, bathroom or living room) of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance. Landlords are required to check that alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy. If you're a private tenant and your landlord hasn't installed adequate fire precautions, the council will be able to advise you on the next steps. Remember never compromise your own safety. Tenants should test their smoke alarm regularly and would normally be responsible for replacing batteries in smoke alarms.
Fire safety in HMO's
The landlord must keep to specific laws about fire safety if they rent out a property that's occupied by more than one household - known as a separate bed sits; a shared house or flat where tenants have separate tenancy agreements; a hostel; or a bed and breakfast hotel which is not just for holidays.
HMO's must have adequate, and well-maintained fire alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets, fire doors, fire escapes and escape routes, smoke or heat alarms.
All furniture (except furniture made before 1950) included in the accommodation must meet all the current fire resistance requirements and carry permanent labels confirming this. This applies to anything which is upholstered or has a filling - like sofas, armchairs, mattresses, pillows, padded headboards and cushions.
For further information on the legal responsibilities of landlords visit Landlord safety responsibilities.