Fire Safety LegislationV1-JW-20151008

There are several important pieces of legislation which impact on fire safety within dwellings, some affect all dwellings irrespective of the layout or how it is occupied. Some legislation only applies to dwellings which are occupied by tenants who are unrelated or only applies to certain parts of the building. This document will help you understand what laws apply to your rental premises.

What is the Legislation which may apply?

Depending on the type of property and how it is occupied some or all of the following will apply.

A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

See - Technical guidance for Part B is contained in Approved Document B.

Application - all dwellings where significant building work is carried out.

B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

Fire is included in the 29 hazards covered by the system introduced by Housing Act 2004.

See - Official Operating Guidance at Gov.uk - Operating Guidance and the Guidance for landlord and agents at Gov.uk - Guidance for landlords. Further information on fire standards can be obtained from the LACORS guidance by clicking here.

Application - all dwellings

C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

See the explanatory leaflet for landlords Guide for Landlords click here.

Application - all rented dwellings

D. Fire Safety Order - the full title is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

See the guidance on Fire Safety in purpose-built flats.

See the guidance for common parts of bedsits and converted flats in LACORS guide by clicking here.

Application - common parts (i.e. the shared areas including shared stairways, landings, kitchens, bathrooms etc.) of dwelling buildings containing in bedsits and flats both converted and purpose built.

If a flat is occupied as bedsits there are two sets of common parts within the building. The first is the shared access route to the flat front door and other is the shared areas within the flat e.g. hallway, shared kitchen, bathroom etc. Both areas would require risk rating.

Does not apply to shared houses let on a joint tenancy.

E. Management Regulations

For premises which are defined as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) by Housing Act 2004. Also applies to individual flats which are in multiple occupation, either bedsits or shared on joint tenancy.

To be a HMO a flat or house has to be occupied by 3 or more persons who form 2 or more households and a household generally means family unit - covers bedsits and shared houses on joint tenancies.

A buildings can also be a HMO where it was converted into self-contained flats AND more than a third of the flats are let to tenants AND the conversion does not comply with the Building Regulations 1991 or later (i.e. converted before June 1992). Often referred to as "Section 257 HMO" after the section in the Housing Act 2004.

Application

  • Bedsits and shared houses controlled by The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.

  • Converted dwelling buildings (see above) with self-contained flats not complying with Building Regulations 1991 or later controlled by - The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007

F. Licensing Condition.

Basic fire safety conditions including provision of alarms have to be imposed if the premises requires a licence under Housing Act 2004 and Councils have discretion subject to appeal to impose additional fire requirements.

There are 3 types of licence.

  • Mandatory Licence - applies to HMOs of 3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more persons who occupy as 2 or more households. Applies to all areas of England and Wales.

  • Additional Licensing (HMO) - discretionary scheme which a Council may apply by Declaration which can apply to any HMO, other than those requiring Mandatory Licensing. Council has discretion on the extent of the area affected and the type of HMO e.g. could limit to HMOs with only 4 persons, or could apply to all other.

  • Selective Licensing - discretionary scheme may apply by Council's Declaration to any rented dwellings which are not a HMO - family/single households - and may cover all or part of the Councils district.

Application - any premises which requires a Licence under Housing Act 2004.

PREMISES

Legislation covering fire safety

HOUSES

Single House, Bungalow, Detached, Semi, Terraced Property

  1. Owner Occupied Single Household (family) Occupation

    A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

    B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

  2. Rented Single Household (family) Occupation

    A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

    B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

    C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

    AND if in Selective Licensing Area

    F. Licensing Condition.

  3. Rented Shared house occupied on Joint tenancy by 3 or more persons

    A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

    B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

    C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

    E. Management Regulations

    F. Licensing Condition.

  4. Rented Bedsits occupied by 3 or more persons

    A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

    B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

    C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

    D. Fire Safety Order

    E. Management Regulations

    AND if Mandatorily Licensable or in an Additional Licensing Area

    F. Licensing Condition.

FLATS

  1. Common Parts

    1. Purpose Built Blocks

      A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      D. Fire Safety Order

    2. Converted flats - Not a section 257 HMO (See Management Regulations notes for application)

      A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      D. Fire Safety Order

    3. Converted flats - section 257 HMO (See Management Regulations notes for application)

      A. Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      D. Fire Safety Order

      E. Management Regulations

      AND if in Additional Licensing area

      F. Licensing Condition.

  2. Individual self-contained flats (Dwelling behind flat's front door)

    1. Owner Occupied Single Household (family) Occupation

      A Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

    2. Rented - Single Household (Family) Occupation

      A Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

      AND if in Selective Licensing Area

      F. Licensing Condition.

    3. Rented - Joint tenancy with 3 or more unrelated occupiers

      A Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

      E. Management Regulations

      AND if in Additional Licensing Area

      F. Licensing Condition.

    4. Rented - Bedsits with 3 or more occupiers

      A Building Regulations 2010 Part B.

      B. Housing Health & Safety Rating System ("HHSRS")

      C. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

      D. Fire Safety Order

      E. Management Regulations

      AND if in Additional Licensing Area

      F. Licensing Condition.

Notes

The responsibility person for the "common parts" fire safety is either the freeholder or landlord who has responsibility for that part of the premises.

Licence conditions will vary between Councils and they should be contact to check on whether they have any discretionary licensing schemes (Additional or Selective) and their requirements.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015 and applies to all completely new tenancies entered into after this date.

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