Safety standards for furniture and appliances

Damaged or broken furniture and appliances can be a health and safety risk. Find out what rules your landlord has to follow.

Responsibility for furniture and appliance safety

Your landlord has a legal duty to make sure that any appliances, furniture and furnishings they provide in your rented home are safe and fit to use.

Find out more about housing standards in private rented homes.

Find out more about housing standards in council and housing association homes.

Furniture fire safety rules

Furniture in your home should be fire resistant.

If your furniture was made after March 1st 1990, it must have a label to show that it meets fire safety standards. This applies to both new and second-hand furniture.

This includes:

  • sofas
  • armchairs
  • sofa beds
  • nursery furniture
  • mattresses
  • pillows and cushions

Landlords can be prosecuted if the furniture they supply doesn't meet legal standards.

You are responsible for the condition of your own furniture.

Find out more from the Fire Service about fire safety in the home.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

From 1st October 2015, private landlords must make sure smoke alarms are fitted on each floor in all their rented properties. They must make sure that the smoke alarms provided are in working order at the start of your tenancy and when the alarm is installed.

Private landlords must also instal a carbon monoxide detector in rooms that have a coal fire or a wood burning stove.

Find out more from the NHS about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gas and electrical appliances

Your landlord is responsible for the safety of all gas appliances they provide.

Your landlord has a legal duty to make sure that their electrical appliances are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.

You are responsible for the safety of any appliances you bring into your home.

Faulty and broken appliances and furniture

Report repair problems to your landlord if any items in your home become damaged, dangerous or unusable. This can happen through ordinary wear and tear.

Don't use any furniture or appliance if you think it's unsafe.

Find out more about reporting repairs to a private landlord.

Find out more about reporting repairs to a social landlord.

Your landlord should arrange to fix or replace broken or damaged items if the damage wasn't your fault. Your landlord isn't allowed to charge you for this.

Find out more about responsibility for repairs.

Find out more about what happens if you damage a rented home.


Complain to trading standards

You can complain to your local trading standards office if your landlord won't fix faulty appliances and furniture in your home.

You can complain about:

  • faulty gas appliances
  • furniture that doesn't have a label saying it meets fire safety regulations
  • dangerous wiring on electrical equipment

Trading standards can take legal action against your landlord.

To complain to trading standards, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

Complain to environmental health

You can complain to the council if conditions in your home are dangerous or a risk to health.

Find out more about complaining to the environmental health department of your local council.

Last updated 04 Dec 2015 | © Shelter

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