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Fire safety when you rent your home

Your landlord must provide interlinked fire and smoke alarms. If they refuse, you can report them to environmental health or apply to a tribunal.

Your landlord's fire safety responsibilities

Fire and smoke alarms

All homes must have:

  • one smoke alarm in the living room or room you use most

  • one smoke alarm in every hallway or landing

  • one heat alarm in the kitchen

Each alarm should be installed on the ceiling and interlinked. Interlinked means if one goes off, they all go off.

If you have a fuel-burning appliance, like a boiler or fire, there must be a carbon monoxide detector in that room. It does not need to be interlinked.

Your landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining the alarms and detectors.

Fire resistant furniture

All furniture your landlord provides must be fire resistant. It should have a fire safety label to show this.

If there’s no fire safety label, your landlord should replace the item of furniture.

Fire safety in an HMO (house of multiple occupation)

An HMO is shared by 3 or more people who are members of 3 or more families.

As well as fire alarms, smoke alarms and fire safe furniture, an HMO must have:

  • a fire escape route

  • fire-resistant doors that lead to the escape route

  • fire extinguishers and fire blankets

It’s your landlord’s responsibility to provide and maintain these.

There must be at least one fire extinguisher on each floor, and a fire blanket in every shared kitchen. It’s up to your landlord to check these regularly. Make sure you know how to use them in case of an emergency.

Check your rights if you live in an HMO

If you think your home is not fire safe

Write to your landlord and ask them to put it right.

Use our template letter to ask for fire alarms to be installed

If they refuse, you can report it to environmental health.

If you rent from a private landlord or letting agent, you can also apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).

Report it to environmental health

Contact the council’s environmental health team and tell them about the fire hazards in your home.

Use our template letter to contact environmental health

As fire hazards are a danger to your health, the council can order your landlord to put it right.

If you rent from the council, environmental health will usually only get involved if:

Apply to the tribunal if you rent privately

If your home does not have suitable smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms, the tribunal can order your landlord to install them.

Check our guidance on applying to the tribunal for repairs

Your rights if there's been a fire in your home

Your landlord is responsible for doing repairs to your home after a fire.

Staying somewhere else during repairs

If you cannot live in your home after a fire, ask your landlord to give you somewhere temporary to stay. It should be covered by their insurance.

If they do not give you somewhere else to stay, make a homeless application to the council. They can give you somewhere temporary to live until your home is safe to move back into.

The council can also help you find somewhere permanent to live if you need to move out.

Getting compensation after a fire

If the fire was someone’s fault, you can take legal action for injuries or damaged belongings.

Check Citizens Advice for guidance on claiming compensation for personal injuries.

Get legal advice from a solicitor if you want to claim compensation.

Keeping your home fire safe

To reduce the risk of fire in your home:

  • unplug electrical appliances that are not in use

  • do not overload electrical adaptors with too many plugs

  • do not cover heaters with towels or laundry

  • do not smoke in bed

Check GOV.UK for guidance on fire safety in your home

Plan a fire escape route

Make sure everyone in your home knows the escape route if there's a fire. Always keep the escape route clear.

Make sure any house keys are easily found and that everyone knows where they are.

Last updated: 19 July 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England