Shared and rented accommodation.
Whether it is a single bedroom flat or a house of multiple occupancy you or your tenants live in there are certain actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of a fire staring and fire spreading. Landlords have a responsibility to implement various fire prevention and fire safety measures generally governed by the authority having jurisdiction (local authority) and necessary for landlord licences, however tenants should also frequently check and ensure that the property they live in is as safe as it can be from the risk of fire at all times.
In the private rented sector HMO landlords must abide by the Housing (Scotland) Act and the Fire (Scotland) Act and are required to “take steps to prevent fire and mitigate the detrimental effects of a fire on the premises to ensure the safety of persons.” Landlords must review their fire safety risk assessments regularly and make alterations and updates if circumstances have changed since the last fire safety risk assessment. Performing a fire safety risk assessment is essentially a matter of applying common sense in consideration of the property for which you have responsibility and identification of anything which could cause harm from fire. It will allow you to make an informed decision on whether you have taken sufficient precautions or whether you need to do more to minimise the risk from fire.
The main aims of a fire safety risk assessment are as follows –
Firstly identify the people at risk and then identify the hazards, writing them down makes it far easier. Then think about and evaluate the risk and make a decision about the whether or not current (if any) fire safety measures are adequate. Write down and record in an easy to understand manner all the fire risk assessment information and review it, inform your tenant/s and explain the assessment so that they understand the risks.
A blank fire safety risk assessment form can be downloaded and printed from the following Scottish Government website –
Fire Safety Risk Assessment Form
A landlord for a HMO must also ensure all gas appliances are checked by a GAS SAFE plumber/engineer each year and are maintained in good order. Also obtain a portable appliance test (PAT) for all electrical appliances each year and every three years carry out an electrical installation condition report (EICR) or periodic inspection report (PIR).
All furniture and furnishings provided in the property must also be checked and meet the appropriate fire resistance regulations.