Updated: 20 June 2017
The furnishing of rented accommodation with non compliant furniture can result in the potential death of a tenant. Under these regulations it is an offence for a landlord to provide non compliant furniture and to reinforce the seriousness of this, the offence carries a punishment of up to six months imprisonment or a fine, which is currently £5000, or both!
Should there be a fire at a property and it can be proven that non-compliant furniture aggravated the fire, the landlord could be held liable. It is therefore essential that all furnished lets have compliant furniture.
The legislation also makes it an offence for a letting agent to let property containing furniture and furnishings that do not comply with the regulations and accordingly, Goadsby will undertake checks prior to the commencement of the tenancy. This would require any non compliant furniture to be removed and replaced with suitable alternatives.
Landlords can make their own checks to ensure compliance.
All compliant furniture should have a label attached stating compliance. If no labels are present landlords should check compliance with the original manufacturer. As a guide landlords can check the date of purchase when new. Whilst furniture sold as new in the UK after 1st January 1988 may comply, this date of sale is no guarantee that it does. Furniture purchased after 1st January 1992 should comply, however Goadsby recommend that all furniture carries a label or the landlord has a written statement from the manufacturer. It is useful to know that furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950 is exempt because the defective materials were not in use prior to this date.
Examples of the type of furniture to be included to comply are: beds, mattresses, padded headboards, pillows, settees, armchairs, seat cushions, cushions, beanbags, pouffes, footstools, children’s chairs, beds, prams, convertible furniture supplied in kit form, outdoor furniture which is suitable for indoor use, loose fittings, permanent and loose covers and any fabrics supplied to provide or replace permanent covers.
Further advice is available through your local Goadsby office.