We (Wrexham Council) are working with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service (NWFRS) and North Wales Police to ensure that all accommodation linked to commercial premises meets an acceptable minimum standard.

Linked accommodation (above or below commercial premises) can provide a valuable bonus to your business and the local community, through:

  • Extra income for business operators
  • Accommodation being included as part of an employment contract
  • Enhanced security for your business premises

If you have any form of living accommodation above your business premises, the responsible person has a legal duty to make sure it is safe and suitable for use as accommodation.

Responsible person

The responsible person is whoever owns the building (only for the non-domestic parts) or who has control over the premises, this may be one of the following:

  • legal owner 
  • freeholder
  • leaseholder
  • business operator

Aims of the project

The main aim is to eliminate non-compliant living accommodation. Advice and guidance on how you can use linked accommodation safely/effectively will also be provided through the project.

We have had an increase in reports of non-compliant accommodation and, in some cases, along with NWFRS we have had to ban the use of premises as accommodation due to unsafe conditions. 

By working with business operators in Wrexham we aim to make sure linked accommodation is safe and suitable for residents.

Types of premises included in this project

Fast food premises

For example:

  • Kebab
  • Chinese
  • Pizza
  • Indian

Beauty salons

For example:

  • Barbers
  • Nail salon
  • Beauticians
  • Tattoo

Licenced premises

For example:

  • Pubs
  • Newsagents
  • Convenience stores
  • Off licences


We will be carrying out unannounced proactive and reactive joint agency inspections of all types of business premises.

These inspections will be to determine if any living accommodation present meets the required standards of safety and suitability. 

Actions we can take

We have a range of options available to us to deal with unsuitable accommodation, including:

  • Providing advice on how accommodation linked to your business can be used to meet safety and living standards and where necessary improved 
  • Serving notice of works that must be completed to meet minimum standards
  • Serving overcrowding notices to limit the number of occupants
  • Prohibiting the use of part or all of your premises due to unsafe or substandard conditions
  • Closing your business for major non-compliance

Your legal obligations

As the owner or landlord of linked accommodation, you have a legal responsibility to make sure it is safe and meets the required standards for habitation.

Fire safety

Fire alarms

You must have working fire alarms in the accommodation.

If the property is used by staff or a third party the alarms must be linked between multiple floors (between the commercial and residential parts). If the food business owner lives in the accommodation then an interlinked system is not a requirement - however we would still recommend it.

Fire escape routes

You must:

  • have fire escapes that are clearly marked
  • make sure there are no obstructions that would prevent a quick exit

Storage of flammable substances

You need to:

  • identify if there is anything flammable
  • consider whether your combustibles be stored elsewhere, if any

Fire separation and dangerous layouts

You must make sure:

  • there is adequate protection to prevent the spread of fire 
  • everyone can leave the building safely if a fire started

Fire risk assessment

You (as the responsible person) must carry out a fire risk assessment for the premises and review it regularly, or choose a competent person to do this for you.

About fire safety risk assessments

To carry out an assessment you carefully look at your premises and the people who use it, from a fire prevention perspective. It's about understanding the potential risks, then improving your fire safety precautions to keep people safe.

Here’s an overview of the steps you need to follow:

  1. Identify any hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on the precautions
  4. Record your findings and implement any changes needed
  5. Review your assessment and update if necessary

Electrical safety 

You need to:

  • make sure there are no broken or exposed wires
  • make sure there are no overloaded extension leads
  • have valid and up to date electrical safety certificate - an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICH)

You can find further electrical safety guidance on our landlord rights and responsibilities page.

Gas safety 

You need to have:

  • a valid and up to date gas safety certificate for the accommodation
  • a carbon monoxide alarm for the accommodation

You can find further gas safety guidance on our landlord rights and responsibilities page.

Suitable housing standards

You need to make sure that your accommodation meets basic living standards. 

This covers many different potential issues, such as:

  • overcrowding 
  • inadequate or faulty amenities 
  • unsafe, unsecure or unsuitable premises for accommodation 

Find further information on all the standards your accommodation needs to meet:

More information

If you would like further guidance you can contact the following teams where relevant:

Our Environmental Health team 

Email: healthandhousing@wrexham.gov.uk 

Tel: 01978 292040

Food Safety Team 

Email: foodandfarming@wrexham.gov.uk 

Trading Standards Team

Email: tradstand@wrexham.gov.uk 

You can also email North Wales Fire and Rescue Service at Flintshire.Wrexham@nwales-fireservice.org.uk