What are the Renting Homes (Homes Fit for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022?

View more information about the Renting Homes (Homes Fit for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022.

The Renting Homes (Homes Fit for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 aim to ensure that private and social rented properties in Wales are fit for human habitation.

Landlord’s obligation to ensure a dwelling is fit for human habitation (FFHH)

Section 91 of the Act places an obligation on a landlord to ensure that, at the start of and during the length of the occupation contract, the dwelling is FFHH.

These obligations are set out in The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (“the FFHH Regulations”) which set out the 29 matters and circumstances to which regard must be had when determining whether a property is FFHH. This includes reference to damp and mould, carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms.

In addition, there are specific requirements placed upon a landlord to help ensure certain matters and circumstances do not arise.

Landlord requirements

The FFHH Regulations place specific requirements on landlords to help prevent certain matters and circumstances arising. Where a landlord fails to comply with these requirements, the dwelling is to be treated as if it were unfit for human habitation.

There are three requirements imposed on a landlord:

  • ensuring the presence of smoke alarms in proper working order
  • ensuring the presence of carbon monoxide detectors in proper working order
  • ensuring the inspection and testing of the electrical installation

Smoke alarms

The presence of smoke alarms is intended to reduce the risk of fire and associated smoke and any consequent injury or loss of life. Without a smoke alarm fitted an occupier is at least four times more likely to die.

The FFHH Regulations require a smoke alarm, in proper working order, to be present on every storey of a dwelling. Landlords must ensure each of these smoke alarms is in proper working order, connected to the electrical supply and inter-linked with all other smoke alarms connected to the electrical supply.

To ensure that this requirement is met, the opportunity to test smoke alarms should be sought e.g. whilst carrying out a necessary repair or electrical testing in the dwelling.

Depending on the size of the dwelling landlords may consider it appropriate to ensure the presence of more than one smoke alarm on each storey. Landlords may also consider it appropriate to fit an additional heat alarm in the kitchen area.

Smoke alarms should be sited where they can be heard by the occupier when asleep, usually a hall and landing area. Once the minimum requirements of the regulations have been met a landlord may install additional smoke alarms which are battery powered.

The FFHH regulations do not require these additional battery powered alarms to be inter-linked.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

Combustion appliances such as boilers, gas and open fires, heaters and stoves fuelled by solid fuel, oil or gas all have the potential to cause CO poisoning if they are poorly installed, poorly maintained or incorrectly used. Particularly where there is inadequate (or lack of) proper ventilation, flues and chimneys.

The FFHH Regulations require a landlord to ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is present in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance installed.

The placement of carbon monoxide alarms should be considered carefully. Smoke alarms, because heat and smoke rise, are normally placed on the ceiling.

This is not necessarily the best place to install carbon monoxide detectors. The concentration of carbon monoxide could reach dangerous levels before reaching ceiling height.

As a general guide, carbon monoxide alarms are usually installed lower than smoke alarms. The guidance accompanying carbon monoxide alarms should always be followed carefully, including noting the expiry date of the alarm. Carbon monoxide sensors are usually more fragile than those within smoke alarms and usually need to be replaced more regularly.

FireAngel's new CO alarm range

FFHH: Relevant matters and circumstances

1) Damp and mould growth


  • house dust mites
  • mould or fungal growth
  • Both are caused by dampness and/or high humidity.
  • Causes of dust mite and mould and fungal growth
  • Both are related directly to dampness which is caused by:
  • reduced ventilation levels
  • increased humidity, especially beyond 70 per cent
  • warmer indoor temperatures in winter because of dwelling design in renovated houses.

Potential landlord actions:

  • damp proof courses, membranes and detailing around doors and window openings
  • external fabric kept in good repair to avoid rain penetration
  • frost protection for pipes and tanks
  • properly installed baths, sinks etc., with
  • properly installed drainage
  • properly installed and maintained rainwater goods
  • properly ventilated roof and under floor spaces to ensure timber remains air dry
  • adequate extraction of moisture laden air during peak times, such as cooking, bathing and laundry
  • continuous low-level background ventilation where necessary
  • sufficient means of ventilation to cope with moisture from normal domestic activities without the need to open windows that could lead to heat loss, noise and security risks
  • appropriate ventilation for dwellings of high occupant density

Indoor temperatures:

If most of the conditions above are met then raising indoor temperatures, taking into account energy efficiency and cost of heating, can significantly reduce dust mite problems. So an efficient heating system appropriate for the fabric (thermal properties) of the building is important.

2) Cold

This covers the threats to health when temperatures fall below the minimum satisfactory levels for relatively long periods.


  • changes in outdoor temperature among other factors
  • dwellings with low energy efficiency ratings, poorly insulated or poorly protected against the elements (poorly fitted windows or doors)
  • generally the most susceptible are properties built before 1850, with the likelihood lowering by varying degrees over time, with more energy efficient dwellings built after 1980
  • absence of central heating/poor inefficient heating systems
  • excessive damp which reduces thermal insulation

Potential landlord actions:

  • appropriate levels of thermal insulation to minimise heat loss. Level depends on location/exposure/relationship to other dwellings/buildings orientation
  • appropriate heating system safely and properly installed and maintained and controllable by occupant
  • appropriate/properly installed/maintained occupant controllable low-level background ventilation without too much heat loss/draughts
  • means for rapid ventilation at times of high moisture production in kitchens/bathrooms through fans
  • properly sited/sized permanent openings (e.g. air bricks/open-able windows)
  • properly fitting butt-jointed floor boarding/doors/windows

6) Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products

These are all linked to the (partial) combustion of gas, oil, solid fuels for heating and cooking in dwellings.

  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • respiratory damage
  • aggravated asthma
  • increased risks of bacterial and viral infection of the lung
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • bronchitis and breathlessness as a result of open fires
  • aggravated asthma


All these result from an incomplete or improper combustion of the fuel or blockages or other defects to the flue.

Carbon monoxide in dwellings:

  • incomplete combustion of all fuels containing carbon, gas, oil and solid fuels

Potential landlord actions:

  • proper installation and maintenance of gas/oil/solid fuel burning appliances
  • adequate air supply for such appliances
  • proper siting and connection with adequately sized flues
  • adequate ventilation in rooms with such appliances, including extraction where required
  • regular maintenance of flues, extractor fans and ventilation
  • gas heating appliances to be fitted with flues for correctly balanced flow of air inside and out
  • ventilated lobby between integral garage and living accommodation
  • properly sited and maintained carbon monoxide detectors.
  • regular maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms

24) Fire

Includes threats from accidental (as opposed to arson) uncontrolled fire and any associated smoke.


  • Occupiers’ reactions on discovering fire can possibly influence escape from fire, but factors in the cause of fire can include:
  • sources of ignition (cooking appliances/space heaters/electrical equipment)
  • solid fuel as main fuel leads to a higher likelihood of fire though with a lower fatality rate than from gas/electric space heaters
  • electrical distribution equipment in poor condition
  • nature of harm influenced by presence/absence of automatic fire detection/alarm systems

Potential landlord actions:

  • safe siting for cookers, away from flammable materials
  • properly designed/installed/serviced/maintained space heating
  • sufficient/appropriately sited electric socket outlets
  • properly installed/maintained/regularly checked and tested distribution board and wiring

Residual Current Devices

  • fire and smoke permeable resistant materials in design of the building where possible
  • fire stops to cavities including ventilation and heating systems
  • design and construction of the building to limit the spread of fire/smoke
  • properly constructed/fitted internal doors with self-closers where appropriate
  • furniture to comply with current regulations (currently the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended) in furnished accommodation
  • detectors and smoke alarms properly designed, sited, maintained and regularly tested
  • means of escape from all parts of dwelling/building, e.g. openable door window/protected staircase etc. /depending on height of building

For more information, view guidance on the Government website or review other UK standards and regulations.


*Please note: The above summary is based on FireAngel’s interpretation of The Renting Homes (Homes Fit for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022, always refer to the standard for specific guidance.