Rent Smart Wales, the registration and licensing authority for all landlords and agents with property in Wales, has developed a new fire safety course for landlords.
Developed in conjunction with Wales' three fire authorities -and, the online course aims to increase landlords fire safety knowledge and make them aware of their legal obligations to ensure their tenants and properties are protected from the potentially devastating effects of fire.
The course, available on the Rent Smart Wales website, is the first online Continuing Professional Development course to be offered by the scheme and provides more in depth information on fire safety than the basic responsibilities covered in the mandatory training course for all self-managing landlords in Wales.
Cllr Lynda Thorne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Cardiff Council, the single licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales, said: "I'm really pleased to see Rent Smart Wales delivering added value for landlords through this new online course which is free to access.
"We all know that the effects of fire can be devastating. But most fires are preventable so it's essential that landlords, agents and tenants are aware of their fire safety responsibilities."
The online course takes around one hour to complete and covers nine topics includinggeneral landlord duties, fire safety, gas safety, electrical safety and furniture and furnishings safety. The course also includes information about fire safety in Houses of Multiple Occupation, fire safety equipment and risk assessments.
Landlords must complete a short assessment at the end of the course to pass and the result forms part of their training record with Rent Smart Wales.
Paul Scott, Head of Business Fire Safety for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It's so important that everyone is aware of their fire safety responsibilities - we all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe.
"By supporting the development of this free and easy to access course we hope that landlords will take the time to learn more about how to provide the safest level of accommodation possible, in turn helping to protect the residents of our region."
Station Manager David Morgans, Regional Business Fire Safety Manager, Carmarthenshire, said: "Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been working in partnership with North and South Wales Fire and Rescue Services and Rent Smart Wales to develop a Fire Safety Course that allows landlords to gain a better understanding of fire safety and their legal responsibilities.
"As a Fire and Rescue Service, we would advise landlords to register with Rent Smart Wales to access this, free of charge, online course. The course will, undoubtedly, improve landlords' knowledge of the principles of fire safety and how to manage fire safety in a rental property and, ultimately, reduce the risk to our communities.
Adrian Moyse, Audit Team Manager, Risk Reduction Department, South Wales Fire and Rescue commented:"We are very proud that all three Fire Services alongside Rent Smart Wales have produced this innovative new electronic Continuing Professional Development package, designed to raise awareness of Fire Safety for private sector landlords. The CPD package gives practical Fire Safety guidance and covers Landlord's statutory duties regarding making their premises safe from fire. This will not only ensure their premises are safer but will ensure their tenants are better protected from the effects of fire. Thus reducing risk for our communities across all of Wales."
Cllr Thorne added: "The purpose of Rent Smart Wales is to drive up standards in the private rented sector in Wales, helping landlords to be aware of their obligations and ensuring tenants are also aware of their rights and own responsibilities. This course provides the assistance that landlords and agents have been asking for, an easy access resource where straight forward, up-to-date information can be accessed.
"Rent Smart wales hopes to develop additional courses in the future to continue to meet the sector's needs."