The occurrence of chimney fires, especially in the winter months, highlights the importance of ensuring that all chimneys are swept annually by a professional chimney sweep. However a chimney’s primary function is to carry dangerous flue gases from the fireplace or wood burner safely out of the property.

Chimney Fire

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is legally responsible for ensuring the safety, working and servicing of all heating and hot water installations. 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.

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. Even if a tenancy agreement were reworded to state that a tenant is responsible, this would not stand up in the courts. 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.

Don’t forget that under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022, the Landlord is also responsible for ensuring that a carbon monoxide detector is fitted in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance. These alarms must be tested on the day the tenancy commences and the Landlord must also ensure they are repaired or replaced once informed that they are faulty.

As a managing agent we need to stay on top of the ever-changing legislation to protect our landlord clients from falling foul of the law. If you’d like us to do the same for you, drop us a line at or call 01722 580059 to see how we can help.