Landlord’s guide to safety responsibilities

landlord safety responsibilities

If you’re a landlord then you have a number of legal responsibilities towards your tenant. Safety regulations exist to protect tenants’ rights and well being within the property and ensure that the dwelling is up to an acceptable standard.

Some areas of letting compliance are governed by regulations and legislation and others are guided by best practice. Here is a closer look at the main safety regulations.


All let properties should have an annual electricity safety check and a certificate provided by a qualified electrician. This safety check will confirm that the property is safe to live in and use from an electrical perspective. Strictly speaking, electrical items that are provided with the house should also be PAT tested. Some landlord swill prefer to provide unfurnished homes to avoid the burden of PAT testing and to simplify their responsibilities. The law says that landlords must make sure that the electrical system within the property is safe, along with the appliances. This means that a certificate is not strictly necessary, but it is a good way of proving safety and ensuring the tenant’s peace of mind.

Gas Safety

This is perhaps one of the most important areas of landlord obligation. An annual gas safety check must be carried out and safety certificate provided by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The certificate must be given to the tenant within 28 days of the tenancy starting, if not at the point of the tenancy’s commencement. The safety check will ensure that any gas appliances such as the central heating, oven and fire are operating safely and not emitting any carbon monoxide. Leaks poison thousands of individuals every year and this deadly, colourless and odourless gas is almost impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Landlords should also provide a CO2 detector for their property. These can be purchased very inexpensively from good DIY stores and placed near gas appliances. Make sure that you buy a BSI-accredited model.

Furniture and Furnishings

All furniture and furnishings provided within the home must be safe and not pose a fire hazard. This issue falls under fire safety regulations and the landlord must also provide escape routes from the property. The tenant also has a responsibility to ensure that these escape routes are always accessible. Depending on the property’s size, the landlord may also be required to provide a fire alarm and a fire extinguisher (or more than one). Regardless of whether it’s necessary under the law, good landlords will install a fire alarm on each floor as a minimum.

Building Regulations

Further regulations exist with regard to building work and these prevent the landlord from making modifications to the property that may potentially make it unsafe or unfit for habitation. All building works that change the structure or usage of the house must be approved by the council.

Tenant’s Rights

The tenant has a number of rights and landlords that don’t follow due process or adhere to regulations may find themselves in breach of the law, particularly where issues about tenants eviction arise. It is not possible to organise a tenants eviction, for example, when reasonable notice hasn’t been given beyond a fixed-term tenancy. This is subject to interpretation and tenants may seek legal representation if disputes occur.


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  • Kip Lettings

    Useful article, it is important that landlords follow the safety guides for their protection and the tenants.