Gemma Smith and Amber Pocock in law firm Blandy & Blandy’s Commercial Property team, look at what has changed in the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and the effect on landlords.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (‘the Regulations’) came into force on January 23, 2023 under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order).

The Regulations introduce several of the recommendations made to the Government in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1.The Regulations introduce new obligations for Responsible Persons.

Who is considered a Responsible Person under the Regulations?

Under the Regulations a Responsible Person is the person who is responsible for the safety of themselves and others who use a regulated premises. The following are considered Responsible Persons:

  • Employers (only for workplace premises)

If any part of the workplace is under the control of the employer, even if they have designated the control to a third party, they will be a Responsible Person under the Regulations.

  • People with control of the premises

This includes people who control the common parts of premises in connection with carrying out a business or trade. By way of an example, in multi-occupied residential buildings, managing agents are appointed by the freeholder to manage the common areas of the building, or the operator of a hostel.

  • Owners

Occurs when nether of the above are relevant and a person controls a premises, but it is not in connection with carrying out a trade, business or other undertaking.

The Government guidance also suggests that in addition to Responsible Persons there could be a Duty Holder. This is a person who may share some of the responsibility for fire safety but whether they are considered a Duty Holder will be determined by the level of control they have over the premises and the terms of any contract/tenancy agreement.

What has been introduced under the Regulations?

  1. All existing multi-occupied residential buildings require the Responsible Person to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors.
  2. Responsible People of all residential buildings over 11 metres in height will be required to undertake annual checks of flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of all fire doors in the common parts of the building.
  3. The Responsible Person in multi-occupied residential buildings which are high-rise (‘a building at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys’) will be required to:
    1. Plans – Provide the local Fire & Rescue Service (FSR) with up-to-date electronic floor plans and place a hard copy of these plans alongside a single page building plan which identifies key firefighting equipment and the name and contact details of the Responsible Person in a secure information box on site.
    2. Information – Among other things, provide the local FSR with information about the design and materials of the external wall system for the building and inform them in the future of any material changes to these walls.
    3. Checks – Undertake monthly checks on lifts intended for use by firefighters, and evacuation lifts in their building, as well as check the functionality of other key pieces of fire fighting equipment.
    4. Install – Install signage visible in low light or smoky conditions that identifies flat and floor numbers in stairwells of relevant buildings.

Effect on landlords

The Regulations place new obligations on anyone considered a Responsible Person that they will now have to organise and comply with. Landlords who employ property management agents who have entered into operating leases should check the terms of their leases, to see if the agent or operator could be deemed to have control over the common parts of the building. If it is considered they do have control, then landlords should ask them to confirm that they have put systems in place to comply with the Regulations and reiterate aspects of this in site visits.

Please note that whilst we are able to assist in establishing whether a fire assessment might be required, they are not something we are able to undertake.


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