What are the fire checks: 4 bed HMO

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    What are the fire checks: 4 bed HMO

    Setting up a 4 bed HMO

    We've installed interconnected smoke detectors in all rooms, have smoke alarms on each level in hall ways, co2 alarms in relevant rooms and heat detector in correct room - can't recall if kitchen or hall as writing this on behalf of partner who did it as recommended by fire technician.

    With regard to checks to be recorded in a fire log book, please can you advise what sort of checks we need to be doing and how frequently?

    If you're able to provide quote from lacors guide that would be appreciated as I'm leaving the country shortly so limited time to go through all.

    Many thanks

    #2
    You need to replace the CO2 alarms with CO ones.

    You need a manager for the HMO that is in the country.

    Comment


      #3
      They are CO alarms - thanks for the correction
      We'll be returning to the country for some months so was hoping for some quick advice.

      Thanks

      Comment


        #4
        Fire doors?

        I would suggest that this is not really a "can anyone thing of anything Ive missed" situation as your insurance depends on you getting it right and peoples lives are at stake.

        Comment


          #5
          You should contact you local council. Check their web site too. Some councils have guidance and standards.

          You might need fire blankets and fire extinguishers.

          Also, if you are leaving the country, you need a responsible agent managing your affairs. They need to be 'hands on'

          When tenants leave, they can leave bins overfull and rubbish and that is when neighbours complain to the council....

          Councils are getting though on HMOs.

          Comment


            #6
            https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence


            Overview

            A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.
            You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all of the following apply:
            • it’s rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
            • it’s at least 3 storeys high
            • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities
            Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the area. Check with your council.

            Restrictions

            A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years.
            You must renew your licence before it runs out.

            You need a separate licence for each HMO you run.
            Conditions

            You must make sure:
            • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (eg size and facilities)
            • the manager of the house - you or an agent - is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, eg no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice
            You must also:
            • send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
            • install and maintain smoke alarms
            • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested
            The council may add other conditions to your licence, eg improving the standard of your facilities. They will let you know when you apply.

            If you disagree with any conditions the council sets, you can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.
            You should apply for the licence yourself, but if you use a managing agent they can apply for you.
            You’ll be charged a fee which is set by the council.

            Fines and penalties

            You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.





            Comment


              #7
              The 3 storey condition is being removed from October 1st.

              Comment


                #8
                Gordon999,

                Your info is out of date as of oct 2018.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by cupcake78292 View Post

                  Your info is out of date as of oct 2018.
                  Today is 10th August 2018 so Gordon's advice is presumably not out of date: It might well become out of date in October: Could you kindly clarify how/where, please?
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am interested in understanding the logbook issue. In my HMO (6 people) I have a fire alarm company who come out 6 monthly and check/service the mains connected fire alarm and check all fire extinguishers/fire blankets.

                    The difficulty is knowing how frequently one needs to go in and run a fire alarm test. I have heard weekly but I wonder if the fire company is looking for work here. Running a test weekly is likely to cause disruption with the tenants and they tend not to like it. I wonder whether monthly a better compromise.

                    What do others do here regarding the frequency of testing in-between main services?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Weekly is the advice for owner occupiers and offices, so I don't see how you could argue for anything longer.

                      Weekly testing is something that building manager can do for themselves, or could even be delegated to a tenant, although in that case definitely get a log book to prove it is being done.

                      The only real thing to note is that you need to have a fixed time, so that people can recognize it as a test, and you should have a protocol for signalling a real alarm that happens at the time of the test.

                      Assuming you have a panel, with a central station alarm, you put the panel into test mode, use a callpoint or detector test button (different one each week) and then put the system back on line. You don't need any special equipment. You don't use simulated smoke for weekly tests.

                      (I think some railway stations run the tests daily: Inspector Sands is quite popular in the control room, although he seems to get called to many places in larger stations.)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Part of the mandatory requirements for the manager of an HMO is to have carried out a Fire Risk Assessment (or to have one carried out).
                        That will define both the safety standards for equipment (like alarms and doors), confirm that fire exit routes are acceptable and should also confirm the nature and frequency of testing (and ongoing risk assessments).
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If you are leaving the country you must have appointed a manager for the HMO, and put up notices giving details of how to contact them.. They are the ones responsible for ensuring that testing is being done.

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