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Hi. My wife and I rent out her house that she owned before we moved in together. Its a Victorian terrace with 2 rooms on the first floor and an attic room. She brought the house as a 2 bed terrace, apparently the estate agent said that they couldn't advertise it as a 3 bed as the attic room was "not habitable"
I have always been a bit miffed by this as the attic room is clearly original - it has a fireplace, original spindles & banister on the staircase, period floorboards etc. I have dug out the survey she had done at the time and the wording used in this I agree with "attic room doesn't meet current building regulations, but appears to be part of the original construction"
So, the question I am trying to ask is - can we advertise the house as 3 bedroom?
Previously we have erred on the side of caution and advertised it as 2 bedrooms, but I think we are potentially shooting ourselves in the foot over what we could achieve as a rental income. We used to use it as our bedroom, as did the previous owners, as its the best room in the house! all of the other tennants we have had, have also used it as a bedroom.
My feelings are that the room is perfectly legal. It would have met whatever (if any) building regs at the time it was built. Surely building regs cant be retrospectively applied to old houses - otherwise it would be impossible to rent anything other than a new-build, as everything a few years old would have minor problems - wrong insulation, incorrect wiring colours, single glazed glass, etc. .
Thanks for taking the time to read my long post! Can anyone offer some advice here?
Hi Daniel and welcome to the tribe.This thread may shed some light. We also had this more recent thread that has a useful suggestion.Hope that helps for starters?
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise nor am I a qualified advisor on any subject. A humble landlord using an open forum to exchange ideas and experiences.
'but only qualifies as a 2 Bed based on the building regs then you won't get the offer/tenants to use that that space as a bedroom.'
WHY WOULD IT QUALIFY AS 2 BED WHEN BUILT AS 3 BEDS?????????
'For example does the attic have a fire exit? That's one of the building regs.'
BY THAT I ASSUME YOU MEAN AN ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF ESCAPE IN CASE OF FIRE, IN WHICH CASE YOU ARE PLAIN WRONG!!!!!!!
your statement about building regs isnt correct. years ago there had to be an escape window (usually a special velux near the front eaves) from loft conversions, but no more.
thats not 'approach'.
that isnt logical (spok). if you were worried about moe you could install a fire escape velux in the front eaves for less than the difference between a 2 and 3 bed valuation (depending on area!).
'Surely building regs cant be retrospectively applied to old houses'
CORRECT (IF BUILT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTEMPORANEOUS STANDARDS)!
I WOULD ADVERTISE IT AS 3 BEDROOMS AS THAT IS WHAT IT IS.
I'm currently looking at buying something in York, and there are many Victorian townhouses with purpose-built loft rooms (for the staff!). These rooms may not be as 'habitable' as an estate agent would like, but they are still bedrooms, and not subject to current Building Regs. They apply only when you decide to do new work on the property where Building Regs apply e.g. loft conversion, extension, new electrics, boiler... We've just spent 8 months refurbishing our Regency home. There was a large loft room which was used as a bedroom, but we needed Planning and Building Regs because we wanted to expose unused loft space for a large en-suite and Dressing Room. We didn't need to do anything about a fire escape though.