A flurry of paperwork and certification, again…
(with thanks to simplybusiness.co.uk) As of October 1 2023, owners of holiday lets are required to meet new fire safety regulations.
Read on to find out who the rules apply to and what you need to do to comply.
What are the new fire safety rules for holiday lets?
The new rules are designed to make sure all holiday let owners – even those who let out a room for a single night – make sure their properties are fire safe.
Below is an overview of what's changing.
Fire risk assessment
It was already a legal requirement for holiday home owners to complete a fire risk assessment before renting out their property.
The new rules state that small holiday let businesses now need to formally record their risk assessments. These should be displayed somewhere in the property, and are often included in the welcome pack.
It's important to note that you can complete a fire risk assessment yourself, but this should only be done for the smallest properties with the simplest layouts. For any other type of holiday let, the assessment should be completed by a professional.
There's more information about fire risk assessments on the government website.
Holiday let owners need to make sure that if a fire knocks out internal lighting, there's enough 'borrowed lighting' such as streetlights for guests to be able to see.
If there isn't, owners can provide rechargeable torches if the mains supply fails.
Larger properties will need more complex automatic emergency lighting systems (check the relevant guidance for more information).
Any escape routes from holiday homes should be lined with fire doors that take more than 30 minutes to burn.
Front doors of one and two bedroom apartments should also be self-closing fire doors.
For smaller holiday homes, fire doors should be checked every six months to make sure they remain fit for purpose.
Smoke detectors and fire alarms
Holiday let owners are now required to have linked, hard-wired smoke detectors in all bedrooms and living rooms in their property. They should also make sure heat detectors are installed in kitchens.
Complex alarm and fire detection systems should be checked every six months, while it's recommended that property managers test that alarms are working between each set of guests.
Fire safety equipment
Owners of holiday lets are required to provide equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
This equipment will need to be checked once a year by a competent person. It's also recommended that weekly checks are completed to make sure the equipment is in good working order.
What else do holiday let landlords need to be aware of?
- woodburners – owners should organise an annual sweep of the property's chimney flues
- locks – locks on exit doors shouldn't require a key to open from the inside
- candles – guests shouldn't be given candles by holiday home owners
- heating – the property's heating system should be checked once a year
- electrical safety – an electrical safety check is required every five years
- furniture – all furniture should be compliant with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
What type of holiday lets do the new rules apply to?
A smaller property is defined as: a single premises of ground floor, or ground and first floor, providing sleeping accommodation for up to 10 people. Individual flats, whether within a purpose-built block of flats or a house that has been converted into flats, are also included.
A larger property is defined as: any property that's open plan (regardless of the number of bedrooms), or any property that has more than four bedrooms or sleeps 10 or more guests.