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The Crucial Role of Landlords in Chimney Maintenance: 
A Practical Guide

Help for landlords to understand their responsibilities to ensure the safety and functionality of wood-burning stoves, open fires, and chimneys in rental properties.

Let's delve into the legal framework, insurance considerations, and a simple solution that ensures compliance and peace of mind for both landlords and tenants in England.

Understanding the Legal Landscape

In England, landlords are obligated by law to maintain a safe living environment for their tenants. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) explicitly includes the proper upkeep of appliances like wood-burning stoves and chimneys. Neglecting these responsibilities can result in legal consequences and potential harm to tenants.

Insurance and Chimney Maintenance

Landlords should be aware that their insurance policies may have specific requirements regarding chimney maintenance. Many insurance providers stipulate that chimneys must be swept and inspected annually by a certified professional. The importance of compliance cannot be overstated, as failure to meet these criteria could lead to denied claims in case of fire or related incidents.

Landlord FAQs: "Is it My Responsibility to Have the Chimney Swept?"

Absolutely. The law places the responsibility squarely on landlords to ensure the regular maintenance of wood-burning stoves, open fires, and chimneys. Failure to comply not only puts tenants at risk but can also result in legal repercussions.

Tenant FAQs: "Who is Responsible for Having the Chimney Swept, Me or the Landlord?"

While the responsibility for chimney maintenance rests with the landlord, it's essential for tenants to communicate any concerns promptly. Tenants should allow access for necessary inspections and maintenance as outlined in the tenancy agreement.

A Simple Solution: Booking a Qualified Chimney Sweep Annually

The good news is that ensuring chimney compliance is a straightforward process. The simple solution is to book a qualified chimney sweep annually. These professionals possess the expertise to inspect and clean chimneys thoroughly, meeting legal and insurance requirements.

HETAS: Your Source for Approved Chimney Sweeps

To make the process even easier, landlords and tenants alike can turn to the HETAS website. HETAS is a respected organisation that approves professionals in the solid fuel and biomass heating industry. Their website features a directory of approved chimney sweeps, making it convenient for landlords to find reliable and certified professionals who can issue the necessary certificates.

In conclusion, chimney maintenance is not just a legal obligation but a crucial aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of tenants. By booking a qualified chimney sweep from the HETAS directory, landlords can fulfil their legal and insurance obligations. Following successful sweeping and testing, Landlords will be issued with a HETAS safety certificate for their solid fuel stove or wood burner, providing a warm and secure living environment for tenants during the winter months. 


Written by Gary Walker 
Gary, owner of Swept. Chimney Sweeping Services in Huddersfield, is a HETAS trained and approved chimney sweep, co-founder of GD Logs (, and an award-winning direct marketing expert. Raised on a small holding with a passion for wood burners since the 80s, Gary is City & Guilds NPTC qualified in Chainsaws and Tree Felling. He advocates for sustainable heating fuels and possesses a passion for wood burning stoves. 

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