As a Landlord, you and your letting / managing agents both have a legal duty to keep the people who rent your property safe from fire. This is set out in law under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Housing Act 2004 and associated regulations.
You should ensure you have carried out a comprehensive fire risk assessment (FRA). This should contain the details of the fire safety measures that are in the property. As part of this process, you should also develop an emergency evacuation plan for occupiers, so they know the actions they need to take in the event of an alarm or fire.
This may include a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for a tenant who needs extra assistance to enable them to exit a building in the case of emergency. This may be in the form of help, guidance or special equipment to allow them to evacuate rapidly and safely. In small, low-risk premises you may be able to do FRA yourself. If not, you may need the FRA to be carried out by a professional fire risk assessor, who may identify further fire safety measures that need to be carried out.
The Council cannot carry out your fire risk assessment or your emergency evacuation plan. For further assistance and advice visit the following websites:
The following document explains how to carry out a fire risk assessment, contains guidance on how to keep residential buildings safe from fire and includes a range of case studies.
This is Government advice for building owners of multi-storey and/or multi-occupied residential buildings and include fire door information.
Please note we do not take responsibility for content of external websites.
Fire safety and Licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
Kensington and Chelsea have some of the largest HMOs in the country, with properties often comprising five or more storeys, and containing up to thirty dwellings.
Mandatory licensing of HMOs was introduced by the Housing Act 2004. It applies to privately rented houses or flats that are occupied by five or more people who form more than one household, and where there is sharing of either kitchen, bathroom or W.C.
If you require a licence or are simply not sure, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team for advice as soon as possible.
- Email: EH-OSU@rbkc.gov.uk
- Phone the Environmental Health Line: 020 7361 3002
- Write to: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council Offices, 37 Pembroke Road, London, W8 6PW
Regulation and Enforcement
Operating a HMO without a licence is an offence and the Council has a range of enforcement powers to ensure that premises are made safe. There are specific regulations that apply to HMOs, which require landlord and agents to take safety measures, maintain common areas and maintain the fixtures and fittings. This also includes maintaining fire safety within the property.
The Council also enforces the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as set out in the Housing Act 2004, which applies to HMO and all other private dwellings. The HHSRS is a ‘risk based’ assessment of the risks to safety from fire and other hazards.
Penalties for non-compliance with the above legal requirements could result in a penalty fine (up to £30,000 through a Council Financial Penalty Notice or UNLIMITED through the Courts) and/or prosecution.
In serious cases we may also seek an order banning a person from letting housing in England and/or engaging in letting agency work that relates to housing in England.
We may also issue press releases and update public databases about enforcement, where it is considered that publicity will benefit compliance by others with the statutory requirements.
This advice is not intended to be a definitive guide to, nor a substitute for, the relevant legal and technical advice that should be sought where appropriate.