Exclusion areas

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    Exclusion areas

    i have inherited my parents property and intend to live there in retirement in about 3 years and in the interim will rent it out.
    Rather than move items up and down the country, I currently live 300 miles from property, I want to store things in the loft and add a padlock so that tenants do not have access. The downside is that the combi boiler is in the attic. I have a great plumber who would come out quickly if there was a problem but would the tenants be able to claim personal right of access for health and safety reasons?
    i intend to have a key to the padlock onsite in a key safe with combination known to me, the letting agents and the plumber but not the tenants.
    is this acceptable ? Could the tenants demand access ?

    #2
    It is an arrangement I have seen in many houses - I am an inventory clerk and make note of it in the inventory and check in paperwork.

    As long as there is access (the T can ask for the keybox number in an emergency and you can have it changed afterwords) you should be fine.

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      #3
      This sort of arrangement can cause problems with council tax. In particular, if you are storing in a habitable part of the building, it can be treated as an HMO for council tax purposes, and the landlord becomes responsible for paying the council tax, as they are the lowest person in the ownership chain that has access to all of the building that was included in the council tax valuation.

      I tried to work this out for detached garages, as a number of my neighbours are breaching their leases by sub-letting garages separately, and it appears not to apply in that case, but I'd have to re-read the rules in relation to an unconverted attic.

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        #4
        If the tenants can't get access to an area that has a gas appliance then I think there could be safety issues, whether or not they are legal requirements.

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          #5
          Thanks all - I’m leaning towards using the key safe route and to let them know the number in an emergency. If it is a water / heating problem, then they wouldn’t be inconvenienced any more than them or me calling a plumber. If there is a gas problem and they call the gas board they would / could presumably turn the gas off at some main point? And if there is a fire you would just get out of the building, so I’m struggling to think of a scenario where they would actually need access to the boiler themselves without having a professional called in - which I would be happy to pay for.

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            #6
            Oh and the loft is just a loft not a room

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              #7
              I would put taps on both the water input and gas pipes that the tenant can get at so they can turn them off if they need to.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Vimto88 View Post
                I’m struggling to think of a scenario where they would actually need access to the boiler themselves without having a professional called in.
                Some boilers requre that a "reset" button be pressed when it detects an abnormal condition, otherwise it will not provide hot water to taps or radiators.

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                  #9
                  Thanks for suggestions, the stopcock for the water is handy, don’t know about gas.EDIT apparently every home has a gas turn off valve next to the meter. So gas and water valves are near each other. As for reset button on boiler not sure.....but I’d rather pay a call out for plumber to reset than to give people free access to the sentimental stuff in loft and they couldn’t claim that to be a health and safety issue, just an inconvenience

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                    #10
                    If your boiler is in the loft then the loft needs to be fit for it to be placed there. Lots of new, small houses have that arrangement and there is no truly easy access, ladder or not. I asked a BG man about it and he said they are covered by regs, so I had a look:

                    BPEC CEN1 Guidance regardsing roof installation of gas boiler is;-
                    1. Flooring provided to boiler for service access
                    2. Boiler has to be mounted on wall capable of withstanding weight.
                    3. Loft to be accessible with retractable ladder
                    4. Must have fixed lighting in place
                    5. The roof space exit must be protected with a guard rail
                    6. Gas, water, and electrical isolation points should be provided outside of the roof space so boiler can be isolated without gaining access to roof space

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                      #11
                      Also note that lofts aren't designed to carry a lot of weight, except on the walls, so you can't put lots of heavy stuff there.

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                        #12
                        I think that one of the things this is highlighting is that a property that's fine for an owner occupier, may not be appropriate for a rental property.
                        An owner can live with the foibles of their home, a renter is less likely to be so tolerant.

                        You definitely need to have an isolation point for the gas outside the loft space.
                        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
                          I can't imagine living in a property where I don't have access to the combi boiler. Resets? Check pressure? Change water temperature? Sounds like a right pain in the neck for the tenant and the landlord.

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                            #14
                            Do you know where the Gas, Electric and Water tap and switch's are ?

                            The tenant will need to know and have access to where the Gas, Electric and Water tap and switch's are so they can turn them off in a Emergency.

                            Your just asking for trouble locking a combi boiler up in a loft !
                            Thunderbirds are go

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                              #15
                              Thanks for the comments guys
                              The attic the boiler is in has all of the things on your list Steph Cooke - thanks for posting the check list - very useful
                              It is in a 40 yr old well built bungalow with plenty of attic headroom and all the other access requirements and it is positioned over a load bearing wall
                              All of the turn off valves for gas water and electricity are housed together in meter cupboard in porch, so the tenant would have easy access.

                              The stuff up in the boarded attic isn’t particularly heavy - as much sentimental stuff as anything, and things more like home accessories and kitchen equipment than heavy furniture,
                              And as it is a bungalow is well spread out across the available floor area

                              So I’m not locking the boiler in the loft per se but my stuff, which I don’t want to shuffle up and down the country and have no storage space for in my current home. So the boiler being there is as a consequence rather than me deliberately locking the boiler away and of course is not ideal
                              i agree that it may possibly be a pain for the tenants but I have a clear rationale for the need to do this, and this will be made clear to the tenants as a factor in agreeing to rent the property.
                              I am willing to pay for plumber call outs for any problems or adjustments so the worst they would have is a wait for the plumber - and in any case not sure Id want the tenants fiddling with the boiler themselves anyway.
                              The boiler is 18 months old and has been serviced twice to keep it in top condition.

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