When you become a landlord in Ireland there is a list of fire safety requirements, set out by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), that you must meet and follow to be in accordance with the law and to ensure that your property is safe.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to meet these standards or risk being inspected by your local authority.
Fire and Safety
It is extremely important to ensure that your property is adequately equipped for a potential fire and to fit the property with the necessary equipment to deal with a fire should one arise.
Landlords must comply with the Fire Service Acts (1981-2003) and safety requirements from the Housing Regulations 2019.
The fire safety requirements are as follows;
- A self-contained unit should have a fire detection device and an alarm system should be fitted in the property.
- Common areas of a multi-unit property, such as a stairway or hallway, should also be fitted with fire detection devices, alarms systems, an evacuation plan and emergency lighting.
- A suitably located fire blanket should be available in the property.
- Fire alarms should be either mains-wired with a battery back-up or be 10-year self-contained battery operated.
- Smoke alarms should be placed in suitable locations throughout the property.
- Rooms should allow for the safe removal of fumes and other products of combustion to the external air.
- Each room should have adequate ventilation.
- Gas, oil, electricity and electrical distribution boxes should be in good repair and maintained in safe working order.
- All fire equipment should be maintained and checked regularly.
A more detailed description of all of the above and how to fit each component correctly can be found on the Dublin City Council website.
Breach of Minimum Standards
When a tenant believes that the property they are renting does not comply with the fire safety requirements listed above, they should first notify their landlord in writing.
A reasonable time period must be given to the landlord to rectify the issue and access to the property should be allowed to make any repairs, changes or replacements.
If the issue is not resolved, tenants can then contact their local authority who are responsible for enforcing such standards in residential properties. If required, the local authority will then carry out an inspection of the property.
To avoid such issues occurring, it is a good idea for landlords to keep up to date with any changes to fire safety requirements by creating an account with the Residential Tenancies Board.
How can a Property Management Company help?
Fire safety is something a landlord should take very seriously and so it should be carried out to the letter to ensure that you are providing your tenants with a safe and adequately equipped home.
A fire safety check should be done during all inspections of the property and tenants should be reminded about their responsibilities around the use of candles, cigarettes, frying pans and the use of faulty electrical equipment.
However, as a landlord, choosing the best equipment and knowing how and where to fit them can be confusing and can leave you doubting the quality of your efforts.
A good way to alleviate any worries is to work with a property management company who can take responsibility for all of the above and much more.
At Herbert and Lansdowne, we work with landlords every day and can use our wealth of experience to take the pressure off by taking charge of the fire safety requirements in your property and ensuring that they are maintained and updated when needed.
Having your property professionally managed will ensure that you and your property are meeting all the requirements and providing your tenant with a safe and comfortable home.
We are offering a 3-month free trial to all landlords that would like to test drive the management service. Along with the above, there are a lot of additional aspects to the service – point of contact for tenants, arranging maintenance, meeting minimum standard requirements, key holding service and rent collection service to mention but a few.
The cost of our management service is 6% of the monthly rent plus VAT at 23%. Based on a rent of €1500 plus vat, this would work out at €90 plus vat per month. This is a fully tax-deductible expense and one of the best investments you can make into your rental property. We will ensure that maintenance is complete at competitive rates and rent increases are complete where possible, ensuring your asset is performing to the best of its ability.