Attic conversion liability issues

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    Attic conversion liability issues

    Hi, I am new to the letting business, and have just come into possession of a terraced house that I intend to let rather than sell. 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 the house 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 and get approval (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??

    #2
    I would think that you would be OK if you put suitable clauses in the agreement and brought those clauses to the attention of the prospective tenants.
    I would be inclined to get the tenants to sign a separate document that says they have read and understood those clauses.

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      #3
      Do NOT include the attic in the demised property, but specifically exclude it; then you can put a padlock on the attic hatch.

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        #4
        Originally posted by mariner View Post
        Do NOT include the attic in the demised property, but specifically exclude it; then you can put a padlock on the attic hatch.
        I thought this created a council tax HMO!

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          #5
          Tenants will be tempted to sublet the attic or AirBnB it. If you have concerns about the attic space then I would say this property is not really suitable for letting

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            #6
            Fair enough. Sounds like others have similar concerns. I cant really padlock the attic now as its opened up - padlocking would lock away a large part of the house. I think my only option is to unconvert the attic, and revert to a tiny room with a ladder in it. Shame - such a nice room up there. And its a lot less fire safe when you are up there with only a ladder to get back down again!!

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