New HMO Fire Regulations
After the Grenfell Tower high-rise fire broke out in 2017, a new law has come in place from 23rd January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. The new fire regulations affect landlords of high-rise buildings that measure 18 metres (or at least seven storeys) or over. This law will also include HMO landlords (Houses with Multiple Occupation) that rent their buildings on a room-by-room basis. The responsible person (or people) will now be required to provide more information to tenants on fire safety, including fire door safety and evacuation routes.
The new rules are being introduced by the Government in England only.
What buildings does the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 apply to?
- Buildings that are divided into at least two premises.
- The building has communal rooms or spaces which occupants must pass through to exit the building.
- This law applies to HMOs, high-rise flats, and shops with residential premises on a second-floor flat.
- If you are the responsible person (or people) for an HMO and let on a room-only basis, this law applies to you, however, the obligations are relatively minimal.
If the entire property is let on a joint tenancy, then this rule does not apply to you. However, as the information provided could save lives, there is nothing to stop you from implementing it.
What changes will be introduced?
Landlords by law must already comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Furthermore, the new rules mean the ‘responsible person’ will also need to present fire safety instructions to their tenants. For more information go to …
- Fire safety risk assessments
- Who the regulations apply to, including who the responsible person is
- What landlords need to do depending on their property
- A template example of the notice the accountable person needs to hand to tenants, and display in communal parts of the property
What do responsible people need to do?
- Building Plans
- Local Fire and Rescue Service with up-to-date electronic building floor plans.
- Place a copy of these plans, alongside a single-page building plan, identifying the critical firefighting equipment, in a secure information box.
- External Wall Systems
- Inform the local Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) about the design and materials of a building’s external wall system and provide information on any material changes to these walls.
- The responsible person will also be required to give evidence in relation to the level of risk of the design and materials of the external wall structure.
- Lifts and other Key Fire-Fighting Equipment
- Undertake monthly checks on the operation of lifts intended for use by firefighters, and evacuation lifts in the building.
- Check the functionality of firefighting equipment. Report any defective lifts or equipment to the local FRS as soon as possible after detection.
- Information Boxes
- Install and maintain a secure information box in the building.
- Contain the name and contact details of the responsible person and copies of the building floor plans.
- Wayfinding Signage
- Install signage is visible in low light or smoky conditions to identify flat and floor numbers in the staircases, hallways, and entrances of relevant buildings.
If you are a Responsible Person or someone with duties under fire safety legislation follow the guide:
- Understand what you need to do to comply with fire safety laws.
- Carry out a fire risk assessment.
- Put in place general fire precautions
Fire safety advice is also available:
- Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing produced by the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)
- Fire safety in construction produced by the Health and Safety Executive