Fire and gas safety for landlords and property owners

Fire safety in private residential blocks

The Department for Communities and Local Government have issued an advisory letter for owners, landlords and managers of private residential blocks. The advice relates to the testing of cladding on buildings made of Aluminium Composite Material. See Safety checks on private residential blocks

We have signed a protocol (pdf, 296KB) with the London Fire Brigade, setting out how we will work together to improve fire safety in the borough.

By law, all residential properties which have common parts (shared halls, stairs, lifts, joint entrances, tank rooms etc.) need to have a fire risk assessment carried out. The extent of this depends on the type, size and complexity of the building.

Licensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) fall under the provisions of the Fire Safety Order 2005 and as the owner or manager you are required to carry out a fire risk assessment.

A fire risk assessment is a tool to identify potential fire hazards and enable actions to be taken to remove or reduce these hazards to as low a level as practically possible and then decide what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure people's safety.

The following documents below provide advice, an example and a standard template and are based on the guidance about fire safety in residential properties. However as there is significant variation in the type and risk level, please refer to official governmental and other guidance such as:

Fire safety guidance for sleeping accommodation (on GOV.UK)

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System guidance on fire (pdf) (on GOV.UK see page 148)

Fire Risk Assessment - A Guide (Word, 463KB)

Blank Fire Risk Assessment Template (Word, 32KB)

Example Fire Risk Assessment (Word, 463KB)

Landlords Fire Safety Precaution record (Word, 120KB)

Example fire safety inspection template (Word, 67KB)

Pictorial guidance on the key aspects of fire doors (pdf, 1.7MB)

Lacors Housing Fire Safety Guidance (pdf, 1MB)

Or visit the Institution of Fire Engineers website to find a certified fire professional to undertake your risk assessment.

Gas safety for landlords

As a landlord, you are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants in relation to gas safety. By law you have three key responsibilities:

Maintenance: pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Gas safety checks: a 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.

Record: a record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.

For help with the above visit the gas safe register website.

All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you are responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipework but not for the actual appliance. Although it is good practice for a visual inspection to be carried out on tenants appliances.

You should also make sure your tenants know where to turn off the gas and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.

Read more about landlords' responsibility for gas safety.

Find out more about landlord's responsibilities regarding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms