Routine Health And Safety Checks All Landlords Should Do

Routine Landlord Health And Safety Checks

Whenever I go through the transition of changing tenants, I ALWAYS make sure the property remains vacant for at least a few days before new tenants move in. That window allows me to ensure everything in the property is in safe and working order. It’s also a good time to make cosmetic improvements (e.g. splash the walls with a new coat of paint), if required.

I usually judge how much time the property will remain vacant during the final/check-out inspection a week or so before my tenants’ are due to vacate. If there is no severe damage or cosmetic alterations required, a few days is usually ample time to give the property a once over. Regardless, no matter how immaculate a property appears, I’ll still leave a minimum two day vacant period.

A quick reminder of the landlord’s responsibility to ensure health & safety!

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that where a short lease of less than seven years which started on or after 24th October 1961, the landlord is responsible for the following:

a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)

b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and

c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

Essentially, landlords are legally obligated to ensure their rental property is in safe and working order, including all the fittings and appliances provided. For more details, hop over to the Landlords Responsibility to Repair And Maintain blog post.

Health & Safety Checks I always conduct

Now, besides from general cleaning and cosmetic fixtures that may need some attention, does anyone actually have a routine safety inspection/check? I mean, I do the basics (or at least what I consider to be the basics):

  • Ensure the property has a valid Gas Safety Certificate
  • Ensure all doors/windows open, close and lock properly
  • Ensure smoke & carbon monoxide alarms are in working order
  • Check all electrical items that are provided (which is usually only the smoke alarm)
  • Ensure there are no exposed electrical wires or broken plug sockets
  • Ensure any fitted units that come with the property are securely fitted to the walls
  • Look out for any obvious health hazards like ripped carpets, or broken laminate/hardwood flooring. Basically, anything that can enforce a trip or fall

I think that’s as extensive as my checks get. But I’m assuming that I cover the basic areas; enough to keep me out of trouble anyways.

According to The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (who? Yeah, exactly.), many landlords are still unaware of even basic health and safety rules when leaving their properties for rental. Here is a list of the top 10 most common health and safety issues found in rented properties according to their findings:

Top 10 most common health and safety issues found in rented properties

  • 1: Non-compliant furniture, bedding and soft furnishings
  • 2: Loose sockets and light switches
  • 3: No smoke alarms or monoxide detectors fitted
  • 4: Obscured gas meters and electricity mains fuse boxes
  • 5: Curtain tracks and blinds where screws have been put directly into the wall without using raw plugs
  • 6: Loose/damaged steps, paving outside the property
  • 7: Loose stair carpet
  • 8: Poorly maintained decking
  • 9: Air vents and air bricks covered in rooms especially where there are gas appliances
  • 10: Locked windows with no keys supplied

Regardless of whether you have a routine healthy and safety regime, it might be worth paying attention to the above areas, along with any additional checks you may already undertake. I’m not entirely sure how much legal trouble (if any at all) failing to meet the demands of each point in the list can land you in, but I’m assuming each safety issue has its own degree of danger. For example, I can’t imagine failing to use raw plugs when hanging up curtain blinds would have as much grounds for legal prosecution as failing to fit smoke alarms. But don’t quote me on that.

Anyways, with British consumers becoming increasingly Americanised with the whole suing culture crap, it’s probably best not to take any chances with safety.

If anyone has any additional health and safety tips/stories, you know what to do… get on the mic and spit your lyrics.

17 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Fredo 9th June, 2011 @ 19:22

Of the top 5, I don't think I would have worried about the lack of Rawl plugs in curtain rails! One place I lived used bathroom wall tiles on the front steps, as they aren't meant for floors they are like ice when wet. On 5 steep concrete steps it seemed pretty lethal (literally if someone managed to brain themselves on the way down).

Guest Avatar
Mike 10th June, 2011 @ 14:25

Strangely, I've just been looking into this. Other checks I would do are:

- Silicone seals in wet rooms
- Fire extinguisher and fire blanket
- Central heating pressure & radiator bleed

None of these are legal requirements, but I think they're worth doing at least once a year.

PS, your electrical equipment is likely to include your combi boiler if you have one. Many of these are connected to the mains using a standard 3-pin plug, and therefore subject to all the normal checks.

Again, although not a prerequisite, I get a 5 yr periodic inspection done on each property by a NICEIC electrician. He's picked up items like cracked sockets before now, and he'll also ensure that your consumer unit is up to spec and your supply is earth-bonded to the water pipes. it's a bit more expensive than the gas safety check, but if you ever need to prove you've paid due care and attention to health and safety it can suddenly become very good value for money! (divided over 5 years, a PIR is actually substantially cheaper than the gas safety certificate)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th June, 2011 @ 11:34

Hey Mike,

Ahhh checking silicone seals in wet rooms is a good tip. Also around any sinks. I usually actually check that, but didn't really see it as a health and safety issue. But you're right, it is.

Also a good tip about the 5yr inspection by a NICEIC electrician. I'll enquire with my electrician.


Guest Avatar
Cardifflandlord 14th June, 2011 @ 11:46

Re Silicone seals - I use a product called CT 1 which is superb. Need to use it with the solvent to get a smooth finish but it can be used underwater and it lasts longer than silicone.

Solvent can be used to get rid of old silicone, cleaning the area to be re-treated and also removing things like chewing gum. Expensive but worth it.

fredo - don't get The Landlord started on curtain rails or rawlplugs!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th June, 2011 @ 12:00

I usually just scrape old silicone off with a kitchen knife or chisel- usually does the trick! Does solvent work better?

Guest Avatar
Connie 10th August, 2011 @ 14:16

My landlord never supplied my boyfriend and I access to a septic, she told us that we could not use hers and make our own! no garbage pick up either, we had no vehicle, so she had us put it in a trailer on her property, now we are late on our rent and she is evicting us. For gods sake, do people always get away with things like this? If I were to do these things, I would get caught!

Guest Avatar
heather 12th October, 2011 @ 20:22

im currently renting a flat above a shop i have to enter the shop to accsess flat im concerned as there is no fire access and if there was a fire in shop how would i get out ! all windows r standard un clazed windows im concerned

Guest Avatar
heather 12th October, 2011 @ 20:25

PLUS my tenancy ended 6 months ago he has not got bk to me. i stll have to enter shop on night to get into flat its a weird set up. not had gas cheek or nothink in a year...................

Guest Avatar
Dave 12th July, 2012 @ 10:15

What does point 1 on the list mean with regards to furniture and soft furnishings mean? Been trying to find the answer - but no luck!

Guest Avatar
cardifflandlord 12th July, 2012 @ 18:51


All furniture in rental properties (chairs, sofas,etc) must comply to the fire retardant and ignition legislation. All furniture must have the fire compliant labels attached.

All it took was a google search :-)

Guest Avatar
Dawn 1st August, 2012 @ 17:31

I live in a 2nd floor apartment and the top step is very unsafe. It has a lip people can catch their toes on and trip going up the stairs and several things wrong that make it unsafe when going down the stairs. Last night my mom fell going up but it could have just as easily going down. I filled out a complaint 7-8 months ago. Id like to know if I can legally withhold the rent until the land lord makes it safe?

Guest Avatar
antonio solis 4th December, 2013 @ 22:02

i live on a mobile park i rent the lot my navior has a sewer problem and its coming all my yard for the past two months and im trying to find out if i can get a withhold on one month at least

Guest Avatar
Lisa mahoney 3rd October, 2014 @ 19:04

Hello my landlords left me and my family with open plug sockets no safety check mess after a rewire of the property after it was condemned by national grid house been under disrepair for 5 years no gas connection to cooker since condemned been trying to get them to do this with complaints t letters my letters have been ignored they ignored a solicitor also they had 28 days to do works in 2010 property still half done I'm council house they state it habitable fit for living in dependant builders reports state dangerous with kids there and yet they refuse to put me in tempery accomodation due to they feel it's habitable it's not its unhabitable my son had an electric shock from plug socket burn out they fail to realise the health and safety of my house and it's prejudicial to health. They left me to recover from a hysterectomy in my car no accomodation my kids are with dad's due to my council house disrepair

Guest Avatar
alan 29th June, 2015 @ 20:08

Hi I live in a shared accomation with another guy suppose to be all bills included but the landlord has put the council tax in my name and hasn't paid it also we have pay as you go gas and electric of which he decied to hook it up illiagly where if there is no credit it won't cut off so..... Gas ppl have found out and took the gas box away and not put another one on so there for I have no hot water or heating and cooking as is gas cooker. What are my rights as now this isn't sorted no hot water or heating and all he has don't has provide me with a table top electric hob what can I do about this

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Nicki 23rd September, 2015 @ 00:39

fpl inspected said I had very bad wiring at the property am renting informed owner over two wks ago nothing has been done,my lights flicker one room switch,sounded like it was flizzing they still wnt do anything who can i contact

Guest Avatar
Tracy Greaves 28th March, 2016 @ 19:07

I have been in private rented bungalow for 4 months first 2 months was with one letting agent which never got any of the jobs done which was promised now with a new agent for 2 months and jobs still not done these includes not had any hot water in kitchen only sometimes have hot water from sink in bathroom shower is ok the timer never worked on boiler and thermostat broken never worked the grill on oven has never worked plus a electric socket that can't be used in one off the rooms when get heavy rain water comes in roof off conservatory also shed roof leaks and I have a freezer and tumble dryer among other things that are getting damp.
The landlord knew about the grill and thermostat before letting the property out she mentioned this when I had a conversation with her before Christmas.
What I would like to know is where do I stand legally as I have stopped paying my rent top up due to all the jobs not getting done and now being told by email from the letting agent if I don't pay the rent they will take steps to remove myself and my 14 yr old son from the property.

Any advice would be welcome thank you

Guest Avatar
Lisa Mahoney 4th April, 2016 @ 02:31

Tracey a comment
Report your private Landlord to the council environment health officer of your private landlords
Get a report they can enforce an order as inhabitable.
Then go to the homeless shelter at council and say you want to report homelessness as your rented property is unhebitable
(Unfit to live in)
Then go to your local MP or councillors and report your landlord ..

Once done fill an application to the court with a 28day period for the landlord to do repairs.

Once done get a disrepair solicitor to get the work done in court .

Sue the landlord but please still pay aby rents or they can evict you a solicitor will advice pay all rent but sue them and when you done claim all rent back from breach of tenancy of what is a tenants responsibility and Landlords okay .This is the correct procedure. Write to your LandLords first telling them they have 28days to get works done or you will sue them for disrepair .

That is the procedure for landlords disrepair okay

Kind Regards

















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