Who pays to sweep the chimney?

Who pays to sweep the chimney?

The Chimney Sweeps are getting younger!

Who pays to sweep the chimney?


Many Landlords  believe that if a tenant uses a fire in a rental property, they should be required to pay for a chimney sweep but unfortunately, no matter what has been written in the tenancy agreement, this is no longer the case.

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is legally responsible for ensuring the safety, working and servicing of all heating and hot water installations. Although the wording can seem ambiguous, this also refers to open fires, Rayburns, Agas, coal and wood burning stoves.  This responsibility includes all flues and ventilation, therefore under this Act, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to have all chimneys swept annually in a rental property. 

This legislation used to be interpreted in a number of different ways and resulted in a very ambiguous policy, but this situation changed on the 1st June 2019.

The introduction of the Tenant Fee Ban has made it absolutely clear that a Landlord should arrange and pay for chimney sweeping.  As of the 1st June this year, landlords cannot require a tenant to pay a 3rd party, for example by insisting they pay to maintain the garden, sweep a chimney, clean the windows or instruct similar cleaning/maintenance tasks.

Building insurers are likely to insist that a chimney is swept annually and an appropriate certificate provided when requested (we suggest you check your own policy to confirm this).  The Tenant Fee Ban has made it impossible (actually a criminal offence) to ask a tenant to pay a third party for chimney sweeping (even the first offence is likely to result in a fine to landlords of £5000) and, should the worst happen, Insurers of lettings properties are unlikely to accept a tenant’s or landlord’s word that they have swept the chimney. 

Regrettably, the only solution now is for the landlord to pay for chimney cleaning.

However, we believe that a landlord should have ‘peace of mind’.  Given that a chimney fire could potentially cause considerable damage to a property, it should make landlords feel a lot happier knowing that their chimney is being regularly cleaned and inspected. 

With this in mind, would you like us to arrange for the chimney to be swept on your behalf?