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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I've recently rented a house on a joint assured shorthold contract

Customer Question

I've recently rented a house on a joint assured shorthold contract with 4 tenants. The local council are stating that I am now required to add additional fire safety equipment (mains fire alarms in each room, fire doors, emergecy lightining etc) which as far as I am aware applies to 'large' hmo's only - so 5 or more. I am baffled by the demand, as are the local estate agents who have rented 100's of similar properties without these requirements implemented. Please can you let me know on what basis the council can enforce the added requirements? I have asked them for documentation which outlines the rules, but they mentioned they do not have any - just that I need to comply. Even their own website states regs apply to 5 or more. Please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Your home is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:
at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants
Your home is a large HMO if all of the following apply:
it’s at least 3 storeys high
at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants
A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:
married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships
relatives or half-relatives, eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
step-parents and step-children
As you say its not a licenced HMO therefore they can not request you do this. You should write to the Chief Officer and make a formal complaint. That office will investigate the matter. If you are still not happy then you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can be located at:
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi thanks for this. The council offer is absolutely adamant that the extra regulations apply as she saysit applies for any property with 3 or more living in it. I have asked her the documentation that shows that stipulation as its not line with the policy you have shared and that is on the website but she still says i must comply.

Is there any other intrepretation that the council officer maybe incorrectly the house fits into? I wondered if she thought it was rented to DSS tenants or such like and if there were different rules there? It is really bizarre and she wont give me any more information (apart from telling I will be fined if I dont comply)

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
They can't go beyond the law. Thats why you should complain to the Chief Officer and then the LGO. Ask the Council under what section of the Act they are relying on. They wont be able to tell you.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

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