Landlord’s duties for fire safety
Landlords are under a common law duty in additional to the statutory provisions to ensure that the property they provide is safe.
It can sometimes be difficult to know what you need to achieve to meet Fire Safety regulations; CoLaw can help you to meet your obligations.
One of our clients recently commented about our Director: “I have used Micheal Ellerby on a wide range of properties and find his attitude helpful and realistic. We have carried out Health and Safety audits, fire risk assesments and DDA inspections on old and new buildings. A good consultant to have around!”
It is important that a responsible person has been identified for each property you own/manage, this can be one person over multiple properties, but they must be able to carry out their duties effectively. Remember, it is the responsible person’s duty to ensure that the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 are complied with. You must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable that every person within the premises can escape safely if there is a fire. A Fire Risk Assessment is one of the first steps towards achieving these aims.
How we can help
CoLaw can assist your business with its fire safety requirements and can assist you with your fire safety risk assessments.
- Assist the Responsible Person
- Carry out Fire Risk Assessments
- Create a Fire Safety Improvement Plan
- Help to create Emergency Procedures
- Provide suitable documentation for fire safety records
- Conduct simulated fire safety evacuations of your premises (fire drills)
- Review plans and drawings for planning applications
By performing fire safety risk assessments on your properties you are helping to manage the risk associated with your properties by defining the areas most in need of improvement.
In particular for houses of multiple occupation (HMO) it is important to remember that the common areas within the house are the landlords responsibility, and that you also have a responsibility to ensure that all residents are safe, and have a safe escape route in the event of a fire.
A fire safety improvement plan can prove useful where properties perhaps do not come up to scratch, for example fire detectors are battery only, rather than hard wired into the mains with a battery backup supply.
Where the detectors are powered by batteries it is important to regularly test and replace the batteries, regardless of whether they are depleted or not.
We regularly hear of news stories where landlords or facilities managers have failed their duty to tenants.
A former pub landlord was ordered to pay a total of £16,015 in fines and costs for serious breaches of fire safety law following a prosecution brought by London Fire Brigade. The former landlord pleaded guilty to 16 contraventions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
A husband and wife landlord pair were both sentenced to jail for putting tenants life at risk. The Sheffield landlords were handed suspended jail sentences after dangerous defects were found on every gas appliance at a house they rented out to a young woman.
In 2009, Shell International were fined £300,000 over deficiencies in fire safety at the company’s premises in Central London. The company was prosecuted by London Fire Brigate, and was also ordered to pay £45,000 in costs. Shell pleaded guilty at Inner London crown court to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
If you need a Fire Risk Assessment, contact CoLaw on 08456 588703.