Fire Safety: Your Responsibilities as a Private Landlord
Once, being a Private Landlord was a career path that was lucrative and relatively minimal when it came to its demands. Aside from ensuring your property was aesthetically pleasing and collecting rental payments at the end of the month, being a Landlord was a pretty straightforward investment.
However, over the past decade, the UK Government has introduced a vast selection of new laws and guidelines, many of which have been enforced to protect both tenants and landlords as they enter rental agreements. Many of these new responsibilities surround the subject of fire and safety; something we at Twenty4 are supporting the Landlords of South Wales with on a daily basis.
Today, we take a look at the responsibilities ALL Landlords in the South West should be aware of, ensuring they are protecting their tenants and of course; their investment.
Your responsibilities (by law)
As a landlord, you need to ensure that the properties you let out are both safe to live in and free from various hazards. This is certainly the case when it comes to fire safety, having to follow a stringent list of safety regulations as stated by law.
Providing smoke alarms – If you are a Landlord, your properties must have a smoke alarm present on each floor. This is in addition to a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that has a solid fuel-burning appliance. This includes items such as coal fires or burning stoves.
Knowing and informing of escape routes – In the event of a fire, your tenant must know the escape routes and be able to have clear access to them. This is something Landlords need to make clear and create evidence of during initial meetings with new tenants.
Safe furniture and furnishings – Having a property that is fully or part-furnished is an attractive prospect for renters. However, if this is the route you wish to go down, you will need to ensure the items you are letting the property out with are 'fire-safe'.
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Over the past twenty years, Cardiff and Swansea have evolved into thriving ‘University Cities’; places that gain attention from students internationally. Needing a place to live when coming to Wales to study, we have inevitably seen a huge rise in the number of Landlords offering student accommodation.
Popular property investment is the HMO (House in Multiple Occupation). These are usually large premises that can be housed by several different people, renting a room each and sharing ‘common areas’ such as bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Being in huge demand in South Wales, investing in an HMO can be a great way to enjoy multiple incomes from one single property.
However, renting out an HMO comes with its own battles and responsibilities. While requiring all of the above fire and safety precautions to be met, an HMO has to have multiple fire alarms and extinguishers fitted. The amount of each is dependent on the size of the property.
How Twenty4 can help
If you are a Private Landlord in South Wales then we can help you get your fire and safety policies and equipment in order. Working as an extension of your property business, we can support and protect your investment in various ways. Below are just a few of our many services local Landlords are utilising:
- Professional Fire Risk Assessments
- Fire Alarms
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fire Door Retainers
- Fire Doors
To learn more about any of the above services and for an informal chat regarding your fire and safety needs, get in touch today.
Book a free fire audit here