NOTIFICATION TO LANDLORDS
OF FURNISHED OR PART FURNISHED PROPERTIES
CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1987. THE FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS (FIRE) (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1988
(AMENDED 1989 AND 1993)
On 1st March 1993 new regulations came into force under the above regulations.
These regulations place a legal responsibility letting agents and landlords to ensure that furniture which is supplied as part of a furnished or part furnished tenancy complies with the legislation.
1. WHAT DO THE REGULATIONS STATE?
It is an offence to supply any items as part of a tenancy that does not comply with the regulations.
In brief, the Regulations state that:
- Upholstered furniture must have fire resistant filling material.
- Cover fabrics must have passed a match resistance test (covers in certain fabrics such as cotton or silk may be used in non-match resistant form, provided that the furniture has a fire resistant material inter-liner between the cover and the filling material).
- The combination of the cover and the filling material must have passed a cigarette resistance test.
2. HOW IS THE LEGISLATION BEING INTRODUCED?
From 1st January 1997 ALL furniture listed in part 3, supplied, as part of a furnished or part furnished tenancy must comply regardless of when the property was first let.
3. WHAT ITEMS OF FURNITURE ARE AFFECTED
THE REGULATIONS APPLY TO:
Sofas / Sofa Beds
Garden furniture, which is suitable for indoor use
Loose & stretch covers for furniture
ITEMS THAT ARE NOT AFFECTED ARE:
Bedclothes (including duvets)
Loose covers for mattresses
ANY items manufactured before 1st January 1950
4. HOW DO I TELL IF FURNITURE COMPLIES?
All items listed in paragraph 3, except for mattresses and bed bases, that do comply with current requirements will carry a permanent label headed ‘Carelessness Causes Fires’ and the label will ALSO state that either the covers or the inter-liner will pass the match test.
Items, except for mattresses and bed bases that do not carry such labelling CANNOT be included in a tenancy.
Mattresses and bed bases, although they MUST comply, do not have to carry a label that identifies which is safe. However, those sold new before 1990 are unlikely to comply.
5. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES IF I DO NOT COMPLY?
The penalties for non-compliance carry a punishment of up to six months imprisonment or a ‘Level 5 fine’, currently £5,000 OR BOTH.
However, these penalties are for non-compliance. Should there be a fire at the property and it was proven that non-compliant furniture aggravated the fire, then as the landlord you could be held liable and the penalties even greater.
Want further information or need help managing this? Contact PROPERTYmajor on 01322 518 020 or submit an enquiry form on our website.