Private landlords are being urged not to attempt their own DIY fire risk assessments on any property they rent out. Rented property, from new builds to conversions, bed-sits to HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) all have their own particular fire safety requirements and some will be subject to specific regulations.
The warning is not aimed at experienced landlords so much, but at the number of reluctant landlords dragged into the sector who may not be aware of the complex regulations and safety requirements they must adhere to. Gas appliances and electrical equipment are both subject to strict regulations surrounding fire hazard and most need safety certificates if they are ensconced in a rented home. There are so many different regulations that those landlords who try to do it themselves run the risk of keeping an unsafe home for tenants.
Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive officer of a leading residential lettings specialist, said “Don’t even consider it – it could be fraught with danger. Few landlords understand the huge amount of legislation governing rented property these days. Fire safety issues have become so complicated, and legislation covers so many different regulations for different types of property in different parts of the UK, that it’s no area for amateurs. Seek the advice and guidance of a professional, because the stakes are too high to go-it-alone.”
Figures from the NLA (National Landlords Association) show that the number of its members who have been forced into letting because they cannot sell in the current climate has risen from 5% to 7% in the last quarter. In many cases these reluctant landlords take the plunge into the letting business with very little preparation. Many don’t realise that their landlord insurance and mortgage providers have to be informed of the change and few realise the legal implications they are taking on.