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How to reduce fire risk concerns in short term property lets

Last week the BBC published an article showcasing the increased risk of fire in short term property lets, a matter which Pebbles has always made a stringent point of importance in letting holiday homes it manages, irrespective of whether that be letting for 1 or 45 weeks of the year.

More often than not owners and guests can focus on the aesthetic and customer facing aspects of a holiday home.  However first and foremost is the groundwork that ensures safety first, in particular site risk assessments including but not limited to fire risk assessments.  As an owner of a holiday home, your liability is protected by your insurers only if the insurer’s expectations are met with regards to good site safety management.

Fire safety law applies to all properties in which people are paying to stay and the Short Term Accommodation Association said that hosts are "strongly recommended" to follow safety guidance.  An NFCC spokesperson also noted that with the rapid rise of the likes of Airbnb and other owner operated letting platforms, it is it impossible to “give owners relevant advice to ensure their buildings are safe” directly, leaving individuals to do the relevant due diligence to ensure guest safety.

Owner liability

Showcasing how innocent mistakes can lead to serious problems, the article cited an even from 2017, when a flat rented out on Airbnb in Plymouth was called a "deathtrap" after a fire inspection discovered it had toxic tiles, faulty locks and a fire extinguisher that had not been tested for more than 15 years. The owner was given a six-month suspended sentence and the property was taken off Airbnb, and has since been blocked from returning.

How a managing agent can help

The problem is that it is both intimidating and time consuming for property owners and stakeholders to be aware of all the details that make up all safety requirements including fire risk assessment. It is an area in which Pebbles, established in 2004, can be depended upon, by owners new to market or experienced at letting because the team is experienced, skilled and practiced in holiday safety management.  
For many of our clients it is a key reason for involving a managing agent, simply to stop the worry and allow owners to be safe in the knowledge that they have the support of someone who knows what needs to be done To find out more about how Pebbles property management teams can support you and your property, please do not hesitate to contact us.