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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Developing Property? Your responsibilities in Health and Safety

    The HSE (groan...) has produced a new website on the subject of the CDM Regulations.
    These are the regulations which state that the Client is ultimately responsible for Health and Safety on a project. Frustrating but with a bit of a systematic attitude you can ensure you're doing everything required.
    The site is pretty easy to use, not reams and reams of text, and there are links to the other key sources of information.
    Developing property?
    If you're developing property which you don't intend to live in, you are likely to have legal responsibilities for health and safety

    The information is also in a pdf quick guide you can dowload.
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    Thanks Su - where would we be without HSE eh?
    One quick question - we're about to rent a room in our house - do we need a fire door?
    I hope not as we have nice old oak doors (it's a quirky old house and everything is custom-made non-standard - so that'll be the first month's rent spent on sorting that out @ £200 a day + door).
    Maybe you could let me know - thanks
    Richard
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    Hi Richard,
    I've no idea! (a little outside my area of expertise)
    But I would suggest you ring up your local authority buiding control officer who will advise on the building regulations issues and point you in the right direction.
    You can find your local Building Control Department here:
    https://www.planningportal.gov.uk/wps/por...2&langid=0
    Perhaps one of the landlords with experience of HMO and room letting could comment?
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    Richard,
    The answer could depend on how many tenants you have. One lodger is different from two. You are outside the HMO rules if there are only 3 of you and 2 are living together as a couple.
    Do check the rules. Also check your insurance to see if the present policy will remain effective.
    John Corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
    Richard Francis said:
    Thanks Su - where would we be without HSE eh?
    One quick question - we're about to rent a room in our house - do we need a fire door?
    I hope not as we have nice old oak doors (it's a quirky old house and everything is custom-made non-standard - so that'll be the first month's rent spent on sorting that out @ £200 a day + door).
    Maybe you could let me know - thanks
    Richard
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    Its certainly the case that since the 2007 CDM Regs the client is ultimately responsible for ensuring the proper arrangements are carried out, but your CDM Consultant should be helping you - I can suggest another if you need one!
    Nick Parkin said:
    I have appointed a CDM consultant and all he seems to do is tell me that I am responsible.
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    Hi there Richard
    Unless as John says your home is now an HMO (which is doesn´t sound like it is according to government definitions: "Mandatory HMO licensing applies to all privately rented HMOs of three or more storeys and occupied by five or more people who form more than one household"), then you don´t need to upgrade an existing property to meet current building regulations. You would only need to do that if you were extending or significantly altering an existing property or changing it´s use.
    So if you did a loft conversion to make a new room for a tenant then you would need to ensure that your home complied with fire regs and that might mean fitting fire resisting doors, but would be more likely to mean fitting self-closers onto existing doors and installing more smoke detectors with a mains power supply rather than battery. If you have any concerns you could speak to your local building control officer for advice.
    Hope that helps,
    Jane


    Richard Francis said:
    Thanks Su - where would we be without HSE eh?
    One quick question - we're about to rent a room in our house - do we need a fire door?
    I hope not as we have nice old oak doors (it's a quirky old house and everything is custom-made non-standard - so that'll be the first month's rent spent on sorting that out @ £200 a day + door).
    Maybe you could let me know - thanks
    Richard
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    Jane,
    The definition of an HMO and therefore a property that must meet HMO regulations is much broader than a property that needs an HMO license. Stated another way many HMOs do not need a license yet they still need to meet the code for things like fire.
    For example: A building with 4 self-contained flats where there is only 1 person living in each flat will be an HMO for regulatory purposes if more than 1/3 of the units are rented to the public and the building was converted to flats prior to 1991.
    The info for the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) had a section which covered the 5 ways a building could be classified as an HMO (with or with a license being required).
    John Corey
    Follow me on Twitter -> https://www.twitter.com/john_corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
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    John Corey 


    I host the London Real Estate Meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month since 2005. If you have never been before, email me for the 'new visitor' link.

    PropertyFortress.com/Events

    Also happy to chat on the phone. Pay It Forward; my way of giving back through sharing. Click on the link: PropertyFortress.com/Ask-John to book a time. I will call you at the time you selected. Nothing to buy. Just be prepared with your questions so we can use the 20 minutes wisely.

    That´s interesting John, it´s obviously quite a complicated legal definition. Made even more complicated by the fact that different local authorities can add their own definitions to it, so it won´t be the same in London, as in Manchester or Birmingham, etc...
    I´m surprised that a building containing self contained flats would be classified as an HMO when it would seem that they are separate households. Perhaps the building regs prior to 1991 governing fire and acoustic separation between converted flats weren´t sufficient to meet current regs. Not surprising since the regs are constantly being updated. It seems strange also that it´s only the case if a proportion are rented, I guess not if they are 100% owner occupied. I wonder if such flats were upgraded to meet current regs if they would still be classed as an HMO?

    REI said:
    Jane,
    The definition of an HMO and therefore a property that must meet HMO regulations is much broader than a property that needs an HMO license. Stated another way many HMOs do not need a license yet they still need to meet the code for things like fire.
    For example: A building with 4 self-contained flats where there is only 1 person living in each flat will be an HMO for regulatory purposes if more than 1/3 of the units are rented to the public and the building was converted to flats prior to 1991.
    The info for the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) had a section which covered the 5 ways a building could be classified as an HMO (with or with a license being required).
    John Corey
    Follow me on Twitter -> https://www.twitter.com/john_corey
    https://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blog
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