The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new system that enforces the minimum standards within residential premises. This encapsulates fire safety under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), licensing provisions for HMOs and the management regulations for HMOs. As well as the Housing Act 2004, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 implemented mandatory duties regarding fire safety in HMO common areas.
Guidance we often refer to at the City of Lincoln Council is The LACoRS Fire Safety guide. This is a government produced document which contains guidance for landlords and fire safety enforcement officers, covering fire safety in different types of residential properties. Whoever is in control of the property (i.e. agent or landlord) must carry out some form of fire risk assessment that identifies general fire precautions and means of escape in the event of a fire.
It is advised that the landlord seeks professional help if they are unsure or if they have a larger property.