Chimney Sweeping - The Landlords Obligation

If you have a chimney at your property…read on…

As we get further into the winter months and temperatures start to drop, many of us start to light a fire in the evening to keep warm, including your Tenants.  If you are a Landlord you may think it is your Tenants’ responsibility to have the chimneys swept annually – but beware – you are wrong – it is your responsibility and not doing so can have serious consequences.

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is legally obliged;

“to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water”.  Although the wording can seem ambiguous, this also refers to open fires, Rayburns, Agas, coal and wood burning stoves.  This responsibility includes all flues and ventilation, therefore under this Act, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to have all chimneys swept annually in a rental property.                                       

A chimney’s primary function is to carry dangerous flue gases from the fireplace or wood burner safely out of the property, but sweeping also lessens the likelihood of chimney fires.

So, ensuring all chimneys are swept annually by a professional chimney sweep is key. 

We know many Landlords who believe that if the tenant uses the fire, they should be liable but unfortunately the landlord cannot contract out of this responsibility.  Given that a chimney fire could potentially cause considerable damage to a property, it should give Landlord’s piece of mind to know that a chimney is being regularly cleaned and inspected.

To conclude…. chimneys – as a Landlord they are your responsibility – so get sweeping!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article …we hope you found it useful…the Peach Team