Let's Chat About Chimneys (And Woodburners)

As we near the end of November, the cold weather seems to be present more often than not and the nights are drawing in. This change in season signifies the time for the fires to be lit in the evenings and there is nothing quite like settling down in front of the fireplace or woodburner for maximum cosiness and a feeling of wellbeing!

Photo credit: Ryan Bruce

As a landlord this is a great feature to have, to make your property an even more attractive prospect in the lettings market. For tenants, this sort of feature is a draw for those looking for that authentic West Country lifestyle in their rented home.

Now to the less-exciting but important bit; regardless of when it was last carried out, the chimney in a rental property should be swept at change of tenancy. Who should bear the cost of this? The landlord should arrange for this to be done prior to the initial tenancy and then each successive tenant should carry this on.

There will be a clause in the tenancy outlining chimney sweeping requirements. Usually something along the lines of ‘The tenant shall ensure that the chimney is swept periodically during the tenancy and at the end of the tenancy’. The main variation to this is with thatched properties, where there will normally be a period set by the property insurer and a certificate must be supplied to prove that the sweep has been carried out.

From time to time, a tenant will state that they have never used the chimney and therefore do not need to have it swept at the end of the tenancy. It is our view that this forms part of taking care of the property in a tenant-like manner. In this situation, we would insist that it was done and the cost borne by the tenant. It is possible that the chimney could have become blocked with a birds nest or other debris regardless of usage.

Repairs and maintenance of a wood burner, chimney or open fire would naturally be the responsibility of a landlord in line with the usual statutory and contractual requirements.

If you would like any advice on this or any other relevant matter, feel free to contact our friendly team on 01747 416 516 or

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