Landlord Safety Responsibilities

Fire safety for landlords

There must be working systems in place to give early warning of any fire in a tenant’s home. The layout of the property must provide for a safe route of escape and a landlord must provide information about that route too.

The Council uses Fire Safety Guidance from the Chief Fire Officers Association.

It highlights what is needed to make properties safer. If landlords don’t work to these standards, or the property is seen as complex, then it is the Safer Housing team's job is to take action to keep tenants safer.

Landlords should complete a Fire Safety Risk Assessment at their rented properties. Guidance information on making this assessment can be accessed here:

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms

To make homes safer landlords must provide working smoke alarms on all floors of a house where it contains any room used to live in.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be provided in rooms where there is a solid fuel appliance such as a log burner or log fire.

These alarms need to be kept in good working order and checked when any tenancy begins, and if this doesn’t happen the Council can take action and issue penalties.

Where landlords fail to comply with their duties the Safer Housing team will be able to serve a notice requiring remedial action. If this is not complied with then a penalty charge notice can be served.

A landlord must provide proper alarms to protect the safety of tenants and the property.

Private property and drainage

If you’re a landlord or own a property then you’re responsible for looking after all drains (except the lateral ones which are off the property boundary) and if it affects a neighbour we may need to take enforcement action.

Also, if there are faults within drainage systems they are a public health risk if they let in rodents, so again this can mean that we may need to take enforcement action.

However, we do offer a service to help assess if works are needed. The cost is £170 for up to 2 hours on site (£60 per additional hour) and £20 for materials if a smoke test is needed. This includes a DVD of the sections of a drainage system to help with access.

To cut costs we don’t give out detailed written reports but we do give details of any significant problems we find.

Energy efficiency in properties

Any property bought or rented out over the last 10 years will have an EPC (Energy Performance certificate) but if that hasn’t happened then any new let must have one. They are valid for 10 years, so there’s no need to get one every time a property is sold or rented out.

A guide to energy performance certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings.

There is a minimum standard though, and from April 2020 a new let cannot be rented with a rating as low as F or G. It wouldn’t be legal, and where it happens there is a fine to pay.

Where you do claim an exemption from the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard then you will still have to provide a house free from hazards.

In the case of compliance notices we can ask for information about the property itself, and if it’s not provided with the Council has the power to issue fines.

Also if in the last 18 months it seems that a landlord has let sub-standard property, or hasn’t been complying with a Notice, or has misled with any information on the Exemptions Register there could be a fine.

We are unable to offer legal advice in these matters and any information on these pages does not constitute legal advice. For up to date information and guidance please visit GOV.UK.