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RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION LANDLORDS GUIDE TO FIRE SAFETY FOR FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGSV1-JC-05022014

Key Points

Furniture and Furnishings supplied by the landlord or a managing agent must comply with the Fire Safety Regulations for furnishings and furniture. The furniture and furnishings fire safety regulations must be maintained so as to meet the relevant requirements regarding ignition and fire safety. This is intended to ensure proper fire resistance. Landlord fire safety is enforced is by local training standards. These are also requirements imposed in relation to furniture in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Introduction

1. Furnishings and upholstered furniture supplied by landlords must meet fire resistance requirements. These set levels of fire resistance to domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products which contain upholstery. The relevant regulations are contained in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended by Regulations made in 1989 and 1993. These Regulations are made under consumer protection legislation under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA 87).

Suppliers Affected

2.1. The Regulations apply to all persons in the business supply chain from the supply of materials for use in furniture and furnishings through to supply of the finished article.

2.2. The Regulations also apply to persons who hire out furniture in the course of a business of theirs. This embraces furniture included in accommodation let in the course of the business including residential furnished lettings (such as houses, flats and bed-sits). The Regulations therefore apply to landlords who let such accommodation during the course of a business.

2.3. All furniture (except furniture made before 1950) included in accommodation must meet all the fire resistance requirements.

2.4. Not all non-compliant furniture need necessarily have been replaced by 1st January 1997 when the full regulations come into effect. This is because Section 46(8) of the CPA 87 provides that where goods have at any time been supplied or hired out, a continuation or renewal of such hire or loan (which may be on different terms) with the same person shall not constitute a further supply or goods to that person. Therefore, furniture which has been supplied to tenants by landlords need not be replaced until a new agreement is made with a new tenant, since it is only in that case that a new supply will have taken place. In other words, furniture supplied in properties before 1st March 1993 need not be replaced until a new supply is made.

2.7. Managing agents as well as landlords can be regarded as suppliers.

2.8. The responsibility imposed by the Regulations applies to the actual supplier of furniture, if that supplier is acting in the course of a business of his. For a residential furnished let this may be the landlord (or the landlord's agent).

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