Keeping your home safe
Since October 2015 all privately rented properties are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every habitable floor of their property.
It is a landlord's responsibility to evidence that smoke alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy. You should then regularly check they are working. It would be advised that this is done on a monthly basis, as a minimum.
Note: This requirement is not the same for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), regardless of whether it is licensable or not.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Since October 2015 privately rented properties have been required to have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance, for example an open fire or log burning stove.
We would strongly recommend that all properties with a gas appliance have a carbon monoxide alarm, but this is not currently a legal requirement.
Carbon monoxide alarms should comply with British Standard EN 50291.
It is a landlord's responsibility to evidence that carbon monoxide alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy. Tenants should then regularly check they are working.
It is not currently a legal requirement for landlords to have an electrical safety inspection carried out at their properties (except for HMOs*). However, it is recommended and best practice for an electrical safety inspection to be carried out to ensure that the electrics in a property are safe.
Read advice from Electrical Safety First for further information.
*Owners of HMOs are required to have an electrical safety check carried out at their properties at a minimum of every five years.
Gas safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Gas safety inspections should be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer on an annual basis.
If you have not been provided with a copy of the current gas safety certificate or suspect that one hasn't been carried out then you can report this to the HSE.
Gas safety inspections should be carried out once a year as a minimum, by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Further information can be found on the following websites:
If you smell gas or are concerned about the safety of a gas appliance you should do the following immediately:
- call National Grid's gas emergency freephone number: 0800 111999
- open all the doors and windows
- shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is)
It is illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they suspect it is unsafe. Turn the appliance off and do not touch it until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Landlords are responsible for damp caused by lack of damp proofing, inadequate heating systems, or a structural defect. If the problem is affecting your health you will need to tell your landlord.
However, if damp has been caused by the ineffective usage of heating or ventilation then it is your responsibility.