A London landlord has been fined after contravening fire safety laws and having unmaintained electrics throughout the property.
The property which was a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) consisting of eight bedsits over four floors, was a serious fire and electrical safety hazard. Fire safety inspectors had already issued a notice to the landlord to prevent use of the property until changes had been made to make it suitable for rental.
Despite the notice being issued in, the landlord continued to allow tenants to occupy bedsits and had showed little willingness at addressing safety features advised by the fire safety inspectors. He was subsequently prosecuted and fined.
Landlords, are you breaking fire safety regulations?
As an electrician in Coventry, I work with many landlords and letting agents in the region ensuring that they meet their obligations for fire safety as well as ensuring their electrics are up to the recommended rental standard.
The importance of a fire alarm in any property can never be under estimated, however in a HMO it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that their tenants are safe from the risk of fire. This includes working smoke alarms, emergency lighting, fire doors, suitable escape routes and an appropriate fire risk assessment.
Most landlords are keen to address fire safety in their properties, however in this particular case, the landlord showed no interest at all in the safety of his tenants and had even blocked the only escape route in the property with furniture.
It is important that landlords do not fall foul of fire safety obligations (even if unintentionally) and I recommend that you consult a qualified and registered electrician or fire alarm engineer who can ensure that you will be meeting the legal requirements during the design, install and commissioning of a HMO fire alarm system.
Don't neglect electrics
Landlords of all rental properties need to demonstrate how they ensure the electrical safety of their tenants. Simply leaving the electrics to chance and never having them checked is the worst thing you can do.
Reputable landlords opt to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on their properties. This is the most straight forward way of meeting the recommendations. An EICR is recommended to be carried out every 5 years in a rental property or with every change of tenancy.
Here at Electrical Experts, I highly recommend that an EICR is carried out on any property you plan to rent out.
Leaving fire and electrical safety to chance in your rental property can result in prosecution and a fine which will far outweigh the cost of implementing these into the property in the first place.