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INC Law
INC Law, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 15892
Experience:  LL.B, LPC, LL.M, Pg.Dip, Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
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We have converted the upper parts of a shop into 4 studio

Customer Question

We have converted the upper parts of a shop into 4 studio apartments (2 on first floor, 1 on second floor and 1 in the loft).We have been granted planning permissions for this. The project has been completed in line with engineering specifications and for the most part has been completed in line with building regulations requirements. However, there are 2 remaining “major” items that building control requires for us obtain the building regulations certification: 1) The boiler room opens onto the communal stairwell (as it does in many buildings across the UK) and 2) the staircase to the loft is not fully compliant with part K of the building regulations by virtue of some of the stair risers being 1-2cm higher than the current standards permit.
However, we have obtained all the usual safety certification Gas Safe, NICEIC electrical certificate and full commissioning of the electrics and boiler systems, Fire Alarms and Emergency lights commissioning and certification and EPC’s. We have also undertaken an independent Fire Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Risk Assessment for the flats by a fully NEBOSH and GRADIOSH qualified risk assessor and all their recommendations were implemented.Questions:
Despite the risk of enforcement from the Building Regulation approved inspector (which is very unlikely) my questions are as follows:
1) Is it legal to rent out these flats on Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements
2) If the answer to Q1 is yes, is there any more likelihood that in the event of fire or accident we would be held to account any more that if we had obtained the building regulations certificate?
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  INC Law replied 11 days ago.

Hi,

Thank you for your query. I am a Solicitor-Advocate in the UK and will be assisting you with your question today.

Landlords that fail to comply with building regulations are not only putting tenants at risk of danger but could face significant fines and even prosecution.

The Building Regulations 2010 covers the construction and extension of buildings. Additional approval may also be needed if your project includes the following:


  • replacing fuse boxes and connected electrics

  • installing a bathroom that will involve plumbing

  • changing electrics near a bath or shower

  • installing a fixed air-conditioning system

  • replacing windows and doors

  • replacing roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs

  • installing or replacing a heating system

  • adding extra radiators to a heating system

Even if you are planning on adding or altering something which is not included in the list above, it is a wise idea to check with building control first if you are unsure whether approval is needed.

If you are denied building regulations approval, and you think the BCB decision is unfair, you can ask for a ‘determination’ by the government. To do this, you will need to review the guidelines and complete an appeal form.

I hope this answers your question. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Many thanks,