Upper flat with historic attic conversion - no search results = ok to let out ???

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  • Upper flat with historic attic conversion - no search results = ok to let out ???

    Hello. First time landlord here. Am very near completion on an upper Tyneside flat that has 1 bedroom in the attic (total of 2). The conversion looks very very old to me and there is little or no insulation. In order to let this out, is there any ything I need to do? I.e. the present regs do not apply do they? Obviously I will make sure all electrical and gas certs are in order and a fire door fitted, but apart from that?
    Cheers!

  • Col13
    replied
    It was probably compliant in 1983, but the conversion was never applied for. So there are no planning approvals, and no building warrants. So the rules then are probably irrelevant. I would have to make it compliant now, even though it was done 40 years ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • wfd_property
    replied
    Col13,

    Was it compliant back in 1983? If so then no issue.

    I suppose its no different to renting a normal 2 bed to a couple and them occasionally having friends to sleep over. I think if you tell them that its for storage only, and maybe a sign to that effect on the stairs up to it, then you will have protected yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Col13
    replied
    Hi,I am in a similar situation. The attic in the house I am about to let out was converted 35 years ago, without building control or planning. Its fine but doesnt satisfy modern regs in terms of fire safety or head height. I am thinking about renting it out as a 2 bed with a large attic, and pointing out that the attic is not a habitable space, and only for storage. But I am sure, with stairs up to the attic, electricity, heating, etc, the tenant will use it as a third bedroom. Where does that leave me in terms of my liability and my insurance? I have put as much safety in as I can, in terms of smoke detectors on all floors (all connected), but it is not legal, and it would be very difficult to make it legal (for a number of reasons that I wont go into, including head height at the stairs, as well as fire safety). Any experts out there know what position that leaves me in??

    Leave a comment:


  • bowsden
    replied
    Yes, awful if a fire occurred, but that could be in any old property. I'll make sure there is a fire door, and plenty of smoke alarms.- I'd do that regardless of regs.
    There is no risk of fire coming up the side of an end gable wall so the escape route is safe, except that it is 25 feet off the floor. Hence I did think a rope ladder would be a safe thing to have, but that would scare a lot of people... think I'll leave it up to them to decide of they want one.

    Leave a comment:


  • tatemono
    replied
    We had a discussion about a similar property in the north east recently. We decided against buying it to let because of the risk of someone being trapped in the loft room during a fire. Someone actually posted that they'd been in the situation as tenants but thankfully no one was in the loft room when dated electrics caused a major fire there. They said they'd never rent that kind of property again.

    Obviously, it's up to you, but you should at least consider the worst case scenario risks you might face...

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    You should check with local council for "insulation standards" before letting. Also with local estate agent on any local rules.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrShed
    replied
    It's probably fine. Just assume you will need to do it, and then you will have no surprises

    Leave a comment:


  • bowsden
    replied
    Thanks MrShed. I hadn't considered EPC rating! However, I do plan to insulate at some point. I suppose I just thought it's been rented out for 20 years before me so it must be ok. There is a radiator up there.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrShed
    replied
    The above is probably the correct theoretical position. However, just be aware of the practicalities - if the conversion has little insulation, it may drag your EPC rating down to below what it will be allowed to be to rent out as of next year (I presume you've seen the EPC, what rating is it?).

    Also, cost to assume (IMHO) that you will need to improve the insulation at some point in time. Regardless of the correct legal position, you dont want to put tenants in a position that they could even think about starting to claim disrepair, nor put them in a freezing room (knowing the area you talk about very well, I know how cold those flats can get even unextended over winter!).

    Leave a comment:


  • bowsden
    replied
    Thanks. I kind of thought that, but I just wondered (bit nervous... first time BtLer you see) if anyone else had had issues.
    Thanks again

    Leave a comment:


  • MrShed
    replied
    If its legally classed as an inhabitable bedroom (which should be resolved as part of your purchasing process) I see no reason why not. Building regs dont retrospectively apply - if they did, half of the country would be uninhabitable

    Leave a comment:

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