habitable basement

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  • habitable basement

    hi,

    Could someone help me in clarifying what is classed as a habitable basement in relation to letting out a property? I have a basement but is not used at all apart from the fact that it holds the meters and fuse box down there. Other than that, it's not really habitable!

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Originally posted by enclosed View Post
    hi,

    Could someone help me in clarifying what is classed as a habitable basement in relation to letting out a property? I have a basement but is not used at all apart from the fact that it holds the meters and fuse box down there. Other than that, it's not really habitable!

    Thanks in advance
    I think that if a basement is to be classed as habitable, it has to have a certain window area to the outside (for light and ventilation purposes), some means of fire escape other than the main access door, and some means of space heating. There may also be rules about walls being plastered, but you would need to check with your local council.

    Are you asking because you do not want the basement to be classed as habitable for HMO licensing purposes?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      Hi, I'm asking because when i asked the council the first time they said it's not habitable, and then when i asked again to clarify they said yes it is (different person), so I'm trying to determine the legal definition on 'habitable'. Thanks for replying

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      • #4
        Originally posted by enclosed View Post
        Hi, I'm asking because when i asked the council the first time they said it's not habitable, and then when i asked again to clarify they said yes it is (different person), so I'm trying to determine the legal definition on 'habitable'. Thanks for replying
        Yes, I understand that you want to know whether it's 'officially' habitable or not, and I know it's a pain when nobody will give you a straight answer. I was just wondering why you need to know, exactly, if you don't think it is, and you're not planning to make anyone live down there?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          Oh sorry, I'm interested in knowing because I'm looking into renting out the property and wanted to know that if I did, whether I would need to license it. It's two storeys but I've read that habitable basements are classed as another floor. So now I was interested in what is exactly classed as 'habitable'.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by enclosed View Post
            Oh sorry, I'm interested in knowing because I'm looking into renting out the property and wanted to know that if I did, whether I would need to license it. It's two storeys but I've read that habitable basements are classed as another floor. So now I was interested in what is exactly classed as 'habitable'.

            Thanks. Right...if it has any of the features I mentioned in my first answer, (window/heating/plastered walls), you would be advised to check with the HMO licensing department of your council, just in case. Take some photographs, if you can, and email them or take them in, if convenient. If they agree with you that it is not habitable for HMO purposes, ask them to confirm that in writing. I know it sounds like a bore, but you may have reason to be glad of it later on. Once they decide you need a licence you are into a whole new world of regulation (and expense!). Although the regulations are in the interests of tenants' safety in buildings where the living arrangements require special safety measures, eg 3 storeys, 3+ households, you should not have to jump through all the hoops if your property doesn't need to. A letter from the relevant dept. can save time and frustration later.

            Good luck.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              Thank you for your help, very useful info, I just hope the council are just as helpful.

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              • #8
                Forgot to mention that this basement has no windows, heating, other means of escape etc, that's why I thought it would be uninhabitable,

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by enclosed View Post
                  Forgot to mention that this basement has no windows, heating, other means of escape etc, that's why I thought it would be uninhabitable,

                  I agree with you - sounds uninhabitable (except for moles)! But I'd get it in writing, all the same.
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment

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