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Guys, what’s the norm regarding fireplaces in a property? Should the tenants have the chimney swept annually if they use the fireplace, or at the end of the tenancy if they don’t?
 

There’s nothing in the AST I’m reading to advise. Besides, everything has changed, so it’s hard to know what we can, or more likely, can’t ask them to pay for!! 

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I have no first hand experience of this as my rentals don't have fireplaces. However.....

I have a fireplace at my own home that is used regularly during the winter months. If I didnt have the chimney swept annually and obtain a valid certificate and if there was a fire my insurance wouldn't cover any damage caused by the fire. Therefore as the insurance is the landlords responsibility it would seem a good idea for the landlord to arrange and pay for work to meet the insurers requirements.

I guess it would be resonable/ acceptable to include an additional clause in the contract making the tenant responsible. BUT.....ask yourself.......with something as important as the need for having valid insurance cover and a chimney sweep that costs around £60 a year, is it not worth dealing with it yourself ?

 

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I would have said it is the landlords responsibility to have the chimney swept annually. As Richlist has said it is mainly an insurance requirement for the buildings.

My Daughter has a Grade 2 property and 2 fireplaces and it is a mandatory insurance requirement for her to have the chimneys swept and certified annually. I would imagine it is the same for non G2 properties bearing in mind how insurance companies will look for any reason not to pay out in the event of a claim.

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You could get it cleaned at the start of the tenancy and make it a requirement written into the AST that its cleaned every year by the tenant thereafter and a invoice has to be provided. The problem with that is policing it. I can hear tenants now saying "but we didnt have a open fire this year" . 

Another option is to add £5 pcm to the rent and arrange yourself.

Another option is to board up the fireplace if the property has central heating. The trouble with that is its not unheard for tenants to open it up without permission. 

Dont forget you legally need to provide a CO detector in a property if uses solid fuel even if the fireplace is boarded up we advise to still provide one for the above reason.

We also had one tenant who had his own brushes and insisted he could do it himself even though he wasnt a sweep by trade. We were not too happy about that.

 

 

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Thanks all. 
 

This is what our agent has replied with ... “From 1st June you can no longer request that the tenants get the chimney swept.”

Like you’ve all said, we’ll get it organised ourselves. I swear, the way it’s going landlords will be paying tenants before long to rent our houses 🤯

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Oops forgot that because of tenant fee ban. Just add the annual cost of cleaning to the rent. Which just goes to show it was a badly thought out law and the tenants still pay.

And on the subject of the tenant fee ban after we increased the fees to the the landlords and raised the rent we actually earn more as an agent. The tenants have all had rent increases the landlords get more or the sameish rental income. 

Less work on contract renewals because the tenants dont need chasing as much and even more savings once we get our electronic singable contracts up and running.

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