HMO furniture and furnishings

In respect of furniture and furnishings, landlords have duties under various pieces of legislation.

This content applies to Scotland

Furniture and furnishings in HMOs

Landlords have the following duties in respect of properties they rent out

  • The landlord of any property has a duty to persons who, or whose property, may be on the premises, to take reasonable care to ensure that the person will not suffer injury or damage because of the condition of the premises. [1]

  • Where the property is let along with furniture and furnishings these must pass certain safety tests [2]. If the landlord does not comply with these regulations then s/he will be guilty of an offence. [3]

  • Landlords must ensure that gas fittings are kept in safe condition to prevent the risk of injury to tenants. [4] Annual safety checks of gas appliances must be carried out by the landlord and records must be kept detailing, amongst other things, the date of the safety check and details of any defects and remedial action taken. [5] There is no equivalent requirement for landlords to carry out annual safety checks in respect of electrics. See the section on electricity for more information.

  • Any furnishings provided by the landlord as part of the tenancy must be 'capable of being used for the purpose for which they are designed' both at the start of the tenancy and at all times during it. [6]

  • Any fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy must be in 'a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order' both at the start of the tenancy and at all times during it. [7]

It is important to note that where a property is sublet by a tenant the responsibility for the aforementioned duties remains with the original landlord. The tenant or occupier also has a duty to take reasonable care of the accommodation and furniture under common law. They will be liable if they or a member of their family or a person under their control causes damage. [8]

For further information, please see the section on hazards.

Last updated: 20 January 2020

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.3(1) Occupiers’ Liability (Scotland) Act 1960

  • [2]

    para. 14(1), Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended

  • [3]

    s.12(1) Consumer Protection Act 1987

  • [4]

    para. 36(2) Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

  • [5]

    para. 36(3)(a)-(c) Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

  • [6]

    s.13(1)(e) and s.14(1) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [7]

    s.13(1)(d) and s.14(1) Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

  • [8]

    Mickel v M'Coard 1913 SC 896