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Health and safety in private housing

Landlord responsibility

The landlord has a responsibility to:

  • make sure the property meets a minimum health and safety standard assessed in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating Scheme
  • maintain a safe heating system and make sure all gas appliances (heating and cooking) are checked on an annual basis by a gas safe engineer *
  • make sure there are appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in tenanted properties, in accordance with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England ) Regulations 2015

  * The health and safety executive are responsible for the enforcement of this requirement.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Landlords must make sure that:

  • any property occupied by tenants must have a smoke alarm on each storey of the premises where this is living accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in any living accommodation room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • they check alarms to make sure they are in working order before any new tenancy

Landlords  are under a duty to install and initially test alarms but it's the tenant’s responsibility to test them regularly.

The council must:

  • serve a remedial notice on the landlord when tenants aren't provided with appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide provisions within 21 days of determination (the remedial notice means appropriate alarms must be fitted within 28 days)
  • carry out the works if the landlord fails to meet the requirements of the remedial notice (the works can only be carried out by an authorised officer with the occupier's consent)

When there are reasonable grounds to think the landlord hasn't complied with the remedial notice we'll issue a penalty charge (see charges document below).

Related documents

Domestic gas safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it's the landlord's responsibility to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues that tenants use are safe.

Landlords must :

  • make sure appliances are checked for safety at least every 12 months by Gas Safe registered engineers
  • give their tenants a safety check record

The Gas Registration Scheme in the UK is the Gas Safe Register, (this replaced CORGI). By law anyone who works with gas has to be registered with the Gas Safe Register and will have a registration card as proof of this.

If you smell gas:

  • turn off your gas supply straight away
  • find the lever next to your meter and move it one quarter of the way round, either right or left, until the gas stops
  • once the gas has been turned off, open the windows and doors to let plenty of fresh air in .
  • don't turn any electrical switches on or off, light matches or lighters, or smoke
  • ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 - they'll come to your home and make it safe

Visit the Gas Safe Register.

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