How to ensure complete safety in your property

When you’re a landlord of a property, whether it’s a block of flats, HMO, or residential building, you’re accountable for the health and safety of your residents.

From faulty boilers to dodgy wiring, there’s a lot you need to consider!

We’ve put together a property safety guide so you can make sure both you and your tenants have peace of mind.

Note: These guidelines apply to properties in England. The law may vary slightly in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Electrical installations and appliances

By electrical installations, we mean your fuse box, light fittings, and plug sockets. It’s a legal requirement to test the electrical installation in your property every five years and carry out any remedial works – this is known as an EICR.

Tenants must be provided with a copy of the EICR certificate when they move in, and within 28 days of a test taking place.

You generally don’t need to get the electrical appliances in your property PAT tested, although it can be a good way to ensure they are safe. Some HMOs may need PAT testing to receive licensing, but the requirements can vary from council to council.

Fire alarms, fire blankets and extinguishers

Fire alarms and extinguishers are needed in HMOs where there are at least three storeys and at least five tenants. There should also be a fire blanket provided for each kitchen.

Extinguishers need to be regularly tested to see if they need replacing or refilling.

Fire risk assessments

All blocks of flats and HMOs must have a fire risk assessment. If your building has more than four residents, this fire risk assessment must be written down.

A fire risk assessment will identify potential fire hazards in your property and ensure there’s a safe way out of the building in an emergency situation.

Find out more about fire risk assessments

Gas safety

All gas equipment needs to be installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer and be tested on an annual basis.

Tenants must be provided with a copy of the test record when they move in, and within 28 days of a test taking place.


Legionella is a bacterium that can cause Legionnaires Disease, a dangerous type of pneumonia. Legionella is typically found in air conditioning systems, humidifiers and water sources that aren’t used often (e.g. showers and taps).

If your building has an HVAC system, it’s important to make sure it’s regularly tested and cleaned. In addition, if properties are left vacant for extended periods, water systems should be turned on regularly to reduce the risk of contamination.

Mould and damp

It’s your responsibility as landlord to ensure a home is fit for habitation. Mould not only looks unsightly but can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Poor insulation, faulty heating and issues with ventilation systems can cause problems. This means you need to carry out regular checks to ensure everything is working as it should.

Mould and dampness can also be caused by tenants not ventilating or heating their homes properly, so be sure to advise tenants on how to prevent issues.


Tenants want to be safe in their properties, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they feel (and stay) protected.

Motion-activated lighting, security systems and CCTV can provide added safety in your property and increase the chances of a successful insurance claim if something happens.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms

You need to make sure there is at least one working smoke alarm installed on every storey of the building where residents live.

There also needs to be a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where there is an appliance that burns solid fuel (for example, a boiler or wood-burning stove).


As a landlord, you are well within your rights to request that tenants don’t smoke in your property. If you are responsible for an HMO, smoking is not permitted in areas of shared accommodation.

If you allow smoking in your rental property, it’s important to remind tenants of the increased fire risk and what they can do to keep the building safe. For example, not smoking in bed or leaving cigarettes unattended.

Trip and fall hazards

You need to check for any potential trip and fall hazards, both in tenants’ living areas and shared spaces.

Carry out regular checks to ensure carpets are not loose, stairways are well lit, and balconies and mezzanines are structurally sound.

If you hire cleaning and gardening staff to look after shared spaces, ask them to lock any equipment safely away after they are done using it.

And finally…encourage tenants to play their part

It’s important to encourage tenants to report any issues to you as soon as possible. That way, you can ensure any minor problems don’t become major ones.

Make the reporting process as easy as possible, whether that’s by email or text, or by using a management portal so tenants can see how you are managing their requests.

Need extra help? Plymouth Block Management can manage your properties for you

There’s a lot you need to consider when it comes to property safety and protecting your tenants. If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage this yourself, Plymouth Block Management can support you.

We’ll put together a plan of action and arrange the relevant health and safety inspections to make sure you remain legally compliant, and your tenants stay safe.

Whether you need help managing an apartment block or freehold development, we’ll help you stay safe.

Contact us today to see how we can help with your property safety needs.