The coronavirus crisis has created completely unprecedented conditions across the country, this is true for landlords as well. Standard practice needs to be re-thought, as in many cases what needs to be done for tenants may need to change, as well as how to manage the safety and security of rented properties during this time. Of course, landlords are still legally obligated to take specific steps to look after the safety of their tenants.
Certainly, one of the most vital aspects of safety, that could be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is fire safety. Fire safety professionals are still required to visit properties on a regular basis, so it is essential that they can practice safe levels of social distancing in order to manage their own level of risk. It would appear, based on responses to the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and Fire Industry Association (FIA), that those responsible for fire safety, have been granted key worker status and will continue to carry out as many tasks that require immediate attention throughout the crisis.
Perhaps one of the most important things to note is that due to the lock-down, tenants will typically be spending much of their time in their home. This can have implications for fire safety – and this is something that it is worth considering. So, the first step that landlords may need to take is carrying out a new fire safety assessment.
Fire safety assessments are an important legal requirement for landlords – but when significant changes occur to a property, it is essential that you ensure your fire safety assessment is still valid. Carrying out a re-assessment is important in order to make sure that the systems and plans in place are still relevant with tenants in their properties at all hours of the day. If you believe that your property might be affected by the change in usage, now is the time to act.
It is also important to note that the coronavirus is not considered to be a reason that landlords can relax their responsibilities regarding any kind of legally required fire safety services. It is imperative that crucial health and safety measures continue to be followed by landlords in order to remain in compliance with legislation.
It is a great idea to take this time as a key moment to reassess the fire safety precautions in your property and ensure that they are up to standard. The situation with coronavirus is very serious, but so are a landlord’s obligations to take health and safety seriously.