In furnished properties landlords often provide white goods and appliances, such as fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines, and tumble dryers. But how do you know these appliances are safe or are a potential danger for your tenants?
The consumer group Which? has released a report identifying significant concerns with the time taken for Whirlpool to fix fire-risk tumble dryers, with a third of the affected white goods still needing to be fixed. These tumble dryers have been linked to a number of fires across the country.
Recently, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) identified that 36% of accidental dwelling fires nationally were caused by appliances and white goods, and the London Fire Brigade point out that 1 fire a day in the capital is caused by white goods.
As landlords we have a duty of care to ensure any white goods or appliances we provide are safe for tenants, and as the cold and wet weather approaches tumble dryers are going to be facing heavier usage.
To help keep keep the private rented sector safe we are urging landlords to follow these helpful tips to help keep their tenants as safe as possible:
1. Check any appliance you have provided is not subject to a recall
You can easily register your appliances on registermyappliance.org.uk, whilst recalls are rare registering your appliances allows you to be contacted quickly if there is an issue.
2. Check where you have installed the appliance
CFOA recommend not to install white goods in sheds/garages as damp and extreme temperatures can impair safe usage.
3. Remind tenants to keep areas around the white goods clean and clear to ensure adequate ventilation
4. Have a look at the appliances leads and plugs
Please make sure the appliance isn’t on the lead or stretching to reach the plug and make sure the plug isn’t damaged or discoloured.
5. Make sure any appliances you provide aren’t overloading extension cables or sockets
6. Ensure you have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of the property
This is now a legal requirement at the start of every tenancy, for more information on smoke alarms you can read our in-depth guide here.
7. Remind tenants to check the smoke alarm is working at least monthly
8. Advise tenants that appliances need to be maintained – such as cleaning out lint filters, defrost fridges and freezers regularly if needed
9. Remind tenants to contact you if there are any problems or repairs needed
We also provide our members a range of in-depth guides to help them through any issues they may face. The RLA also provides a range of training to help develop landlords knowledge on electrical safety and property standards and safety.