Some landlords have decided to pay for safety measures themselves, for example 24/7 fire marshals. However, it depends on the terms of the lease between the landlord (the freeholder) and the leaseholders.

Some leases are unclear or do not say who should pay for these sorts of safety measures.

See this January 2018 decision about the use of wardens and the recovery of costs from leaseholders and also this March 2018 decision where the waking watch was found to be payable as a cost falling under “the requirements and directions of any competent authority” being in each decision respectively the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the London Fire Brigade.

In the March 2018 decision it was also considered that the waking watch costs also fall under “maintenance and proper and convenient management and running of the Development” and probably also under “providing and paying such persons as may be necessary in connection with the upkeep of the property.”

Please note that this decision does not have to be followed by another tribunal faced with a similar legal issue. Each case is decided on the particular lease and the particular facts.


Even if the lease does not give a clear answer, the freeholder may be able to pass on the costs to the leaseholders, for example through a ‘sweeping-up’ clause. This can allow freeholders to get leaseholders to pay for a range of unexpected costs.

These costs can include:

To find out more about sweeping-up clauses, see Who pays for fire safety measures such as changing the cladding on blocks of flats?

More information you might find useful:

Still not found the answer?

Contact LEASE to have your enquiry dealt with by one of our experienced advisers.

LEASE is governed by a board, appointed as individuals by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

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