Tenant's Toolkit

Ensuring Tenant Safety

Gas safety

You must:

  • make sure gas equipment you supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered (formerly known as Corgi) engineer
  • have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • give the tenant a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check

Electrical safety

You must make sure:

  • the electrical system is safe, for example sockets and light fittings
  • all appliances you supply are safe, for example cookers and kettles

Fire safety

You must:

  • follow safety regulations
  • provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance (for example a coal fire or wood burning stove)
  • check the tenant has access to escape routes at all times
  • make sure the furniture and furnishings you supply are fire safe
  • provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Structural and Environmental Safety

The building must be structurally sound and provide a safe environment for the tenant.

For more information, see the government's Building Safe Programme.

Preventative steps for older buildings include assessment by a structural engineer, emergency escape lighting and asbestos checks.

Legal responsibilities outside of the tenancy agreement

As well as the repair responsibilities that come from the tenancy agreement, you have obligations that come from other areas of the law.

Negligence

Negligence is generally about you not causing the tenant injury or damage as a result of careless or negligent behaviour.

For example, you may be found negligent if you haven’t done the repair work needed in your property after being told about it, and as a result they injured themselves or their belongings were damaged. You could also be found negligent if you did do the repair work, but did it carelessly or dangerously.

Private nuisance

A private nuisance happens when something in another property or in a common part of a building which is owned by you affects the use and enjoyment of your tenant’s home. For example, if you didn't maintain pipes in the roof space of your block of flats and water leaked into their home causing damage. In this instance, the tenant could take action against you based on nuisance.

Statutory nuisance

You mustn't cause a statutory nuisance. A statutory nuisance happens when your property is in such a state as to be harmful to your tenant’s health or is a nuisance.

Disrepair that's harmful to their health could include dampness and mould growth.

Local authorities generally take action against landlords where there's a statutory nuisance so be sure to fix any problems as they arise, even during a dispute over unpaid rent.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK page here.