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Safety standards

Landlord information about fire, electrical, gas, carbon monoxide and repair standards

Fire safety

Landlords are legally required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their rental property which is used as living accommodation. They must ensure alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. It is good practice to keep a record of any fire alarm tests carried out. View more guidance about smoke alarm regulations

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) require a certain level of fire precautions. This may include a mains wired interlinked fire alarm system, emergency lighting, fire doors and a fully protected fire escape. All furniture and furnishings provided should be fire safe and comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Upon request, our Private Sector Housing team can carry out a site inspection and advise if any further works are needed. Works are based on the LACORS Health & Safety Rating System inspection and consultation with the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

Visits cost £60 an hour. For further guidance or to arrange an inspection, please email privatesectorhousing@fenland.gov.uk. 

Electrical safety

Landlords of all privately rented accommodation are legally obliged to have a periodic inspection (electrical installation condition report) carried out on the property every five years. As of 1 July 2020 all new tenancies must include a periodic inspection report, with all existing tenancies being subject to the same regulations from April 2021. 

You must ensure that electrical installations are safe when the tenants move in and are maintained in a safe condition during the tenancy. It is recommended that a periodic inspection is carried out on your rental properties at least every five years or at the change of each tenancy.

If you provide electrical appliances in your rental accommodation, you should carry out Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) at least once a year to make sure they are safe. 

You will need to carry out regular safety checks to ensure that electrical installation and any appliances provided and safe and work as intended. Help is available from the Electrical Safety First website. 

Gas safety

If your property has gas appliances, you need an annual Landlords Gas Safety Certificate. You must provide a copy of this to your tenants before the tenancy is signed. If you don't, you won't be able to gain possession pursuant of s.21 of the Housing Act 1988. 

The check must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. The Health and Safety executive website has more information about gas safety responsibilities in rental properties. 

Carbon monoxide

Landlords are required to provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a solid fuel burning appliances (coal fire, wood burning stove) is used. The landlord must ensure that alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

It is also good practice to provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a gas boiler is installed.

Repairs

Landlords are responsible for making sure that any property they let is safe and free from serious hazards. All repairs and maintenance, which you are aware of or have been reported by your tenant or agent, must be carried out within a reasonable time period. 

Repairs that landlords are responsible for include:

  • the property's structure and exterior
  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances
  • pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring

Landlords should include details of their responsibilities for property maintenance, along with clear guidelines on how to report a repair, within the tenancy agreement.

If the repairs are not carried out promptly and we receive a complaint, we have a duty to investigate. A tenant can also take you to court or make a compensation claim against you if they are injured or their possessions are damaged because you didn't carry out necessary repairs.

Bins and Recycling

To ensure bins are collected, it is important that they contain the correct materials. The Getting It Sorted website shows what can go in the bins in 7 languages. 

Collection days can be checked on our website or using our bin app. Search 'Fenland Bins' on your app store to download our free app that shows bin collections and can add reminders to calendars. 

All domestic properties are provided with a free recycling and residual waste collection using standard domestic size bins. Larger households can have an additional blue recycling bin if they prove they are using the existing system well. Very large households can be assessed for an additional residual waste bin.

These services are provided free to domestic premises. Landlords can also choose to pay for more regular collections and additional services through our commercial waste service. Call 01354 654321 for details.

Residents in Cambridgeshire households can also use Household Recycling Centres. Controls exist for commercial vehicles and trailers. 

What we will do if we get a complaint from your tenant

We have a duty to investigate if we receive a complaint from a tenant about repair issues within the property they rent.

If there is evidence that the tenant has reported the issue to their landlord or agent, and the repair has not been addressed and/or the harm to health has not been reduced satisfactorily, we will conduct a full house inspection of the property. This uses the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

If a category 1 or high category 2 hazard is found, we will serve a notice to the landlord and/or letting agent who collects the rent. This explains what works are needed to put the problem right and when they must be done by. 

Charges for enforcement action taken against you

We can charge for various types of enforcement action taken under the Housing Act 2004. The charge is currently £240 per notice. The enforcement options available to us are:

  • An Improvement notice (including Suspended Improvement notice)
  • A Prohibition Order (including Suspended Prohibition Order)
  • Emergency Remedial Action
  • A Hazard Awareness Notice
  • An Emergency Prohibition Order

More information is available in our Icon for pdf Housing Enforcement Policy [358.9KB].

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