Difficulty in getting on the property ladder in the UK, in conjunction with the booming rental market, has led to an increase in tenants, rather than homeowners. With many people living in rented accommodation, landlords have been able to take advantage of the increased demand for their properties and boost their revenue accordingly.
Whilst it may be tempting for existing homeowners to gain a second income by buying and renting properties, the responsibilities of a landlord should not be overlooked. There is a wealth of legislation which landlords must abide by and many regulations relate to the health and safety of their tenants.
Protecting your tenants from fire
Before renting a property out, landlords should ensure that a thorough fire assessment has been undertaken. Failure to do so could result in action being taken against the landlord or their property management company and it could also invalidate any insurance policies which are in place.
If you have numerous tenants situated in one building, it may be tempting to try and cut costs by excluding the communal areas from a fire risk assessment. Technically, landlords aren’t required to carry out a risk assessment in communal areas if they don’t own them.
Despite this, it’s often advisable for landlords to include these areas in their risk assessments. Should contractors need to enter the site, for example, they may want access to completed fire risk assessment forms before beginning work.
Similarly, if maintenance staff are employed to service the building, they have the right to work in a safe environment and, therefore, fire risk assessments must be carried out.
Carrying out effective fire risk assessments
Whilst landlords may not have to carry out assessments in communal areas, if they don’t own them, their insurers may insist that they do. Often, insurance companies are unwilling to provide a policy unless the landlord accepts responsibility for communal areas, as well as private dwellings within the building.
Accessing professional fire risk assessment services can, therefore, help to reduce the cost of insurance your properties and ensure that you’re operating legally.
Of course, the most pressing reason to conduct regular fire assessments is the potential risk to your tenants. By arranging for regular assessments to be carried out, you can ensure that you’re providing your tenants with a safe home and reducing the risk of a fire causing untold harm. Contact us today to find out more about conducting fire risk assessments.