If you are a landlord of multi-let premises, you and your letting or
managing agents have a legal duty to keep the people who rent your property
safe from fire through the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire
Safety) Order (‘FSO’). Under the requirements of the FSO, this has meant
carrying out a fire risk assessment on the communal or shared areas but
under the Fire Safety Act 2021 (‘the Act’) this duty has been extended to
include the external fabric of the building where the building contains two
or more sets of domestic premises.
The Fire Safety Act (‘the Act’) was given Royal Assent on the 29 April
2021. It applies in both England and Wales.
The Act clarifies that for any building containing two or more sets of domestic premises, the FSO (as amended) applies to:
the building’s structure;
external walls (including doors or windows in those walls and anything
attached to the exterior of those walls (including cladding and
any common parts/shared areas (including flat entrance doors that open
into common parts).
A ‘responsible person’ (a landlord, letting agent or managing agent) should
review their fire risk assessments to ensure that they cover the structure,
external façade and individual entrance doors and implement any changes
where necessary as soon as possible.
A responsible person can carry out the risk assessment themselves,
however, it is still recommended that an expert is instructed to carry
out a fire risk assessment, especially in more complex premises. If you
do want to perform the fire risk assessment yourself, you should only
do so if you have had training or experience in fire risk assessment.
For further information you can review the government’s guidance on
performing a risk assessment which can be found
Although parts of the Act do not come into force immediately (but over the
coming months), it is best practice for these changes to be adopted as soon
There are two new templates: 1) AResidential Fire Risk Assessment Form; and 2) An HMO Fire Risk Assessment Form to assist responsible
persons in carrying out the assessment. The
Residential and HMO Health and Safety Policies, Compliance Checklist and Multi-Let Property Management Service Agreements have been updated
to incorporate these changes.
Further changes to the FSO are likely, following a government consultation
last year, with greater duties on the responsible persons being anticipated.
As yet there is no timescale for these changes, but we will continue to
monitor progress and send out further updates where necessary.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific