H&S Issue with Council Tennant

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  • H&S Issue with Council Tennant

    Hello All,

    My first post and my first foray into Landlording so please be gentle.

    I did plenty of research before renting my flat and thought I had crossed all the t's adn dotted all the i's however;

    My tennant is on housing benefit and a council rep came in on day one to do an inventory for the council bond (deposit held in trust) the council rep just emailed me and I quote;

    Whilst carrying out the inventory yesterday, I identified some minor defects that need to be addressed immediately as they are classed as Health & Safety.

    Lounge - Board up door to lounge with MDF to both sides of the door (H & S)
    Kitchen - Board up door to kitchen with MDF to both sides of the door (H & S)


    The doors in question have 8 small glass panels in them, is this really a legal non conformity?

    I'm sure my tenant won't appreciate me covering her doors in mdf!

    Obviously I will comply if its required but it strikes me as overkill.

    Many thanks in advance for your comments

    MC

  • #2
    Originally posted by misterchase View Post
    Lounge - Board up door to lounge with MDF to both sides of the door (H & S)
    Kitchen - Board up door to kitchen with MDF to both sides of the door (H & S)

    The doors in question have 8 small glass panels in them, is this really a legal non conformity?
    Is the glass in the doors safety glass or ordinary glass?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post
      Is the glass in the doors safety glass or ordinary glass?
      Just normal, ornamental cut glass. I managed to live there for 8 years without cutting my own arm off.

      cheers
      MC

      Comment


      • #4
        But you are renting your flat out now, so different rules apply.

        I'm sure you didn't have a CP12 gas safety certificate, liability insurance etc. when you were living in the flat.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd ask them for more detailed specs - i.e. what type/thickness MDF. And ask if you can fit safety glass instead.

          Comment


          • #6
            I must say you are much more understanding than I would be, personnally I would write him a letter along the following lines.

            Dear Pointless Jobsworth

            Thank you for your letter of the x please could you provide the following information.

            - The precise statute and regulation that you are depending on for your statement that the doors need covering with mdf.
            - A full copy of the risk assesment that you have carried out against this solution against all others that you considered. ( I can think of at least 4)
            - As you have gone on record as stating that the current glass is insuffcient, please furnish me with a full copy of the laboratory analysis that you performed on the glass to show that it is insufficient for the current purpose.
            - A clear statement that you accept full liabilty on behalf of the council for any accident caused by the reduction in available light in the hallway.
            - A copy of your qualifications that show your fitness to dictate the required solution to any building issues, for example a current RICS qualification as a chartered surveyor.

            If you cannot provide all of the above would you please crawl back into whatever hole you emerged from and try to master counting to 20 without taking you socks off.

            Yours sincerely

            You may want to rephrase a few bits or better still not send it all - I was in a bit of bad mood but I feel better now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Fletchj

              Love it! But think you may be making some serious points there. It would certainly be worth OP seeking the legal reasoning behind this 'request'.

              Comment


              • #8
                This does seem quite common with council deposit schemes, they come out with all kind of daft stuff, like insisting on safety glass, making sure all the walls are completely smooth in case someone falls over and cuts themselves on a picture nail,etc.
                Thing is, I guess they can ask for what they please, they dont have to give the deposit!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fletchj View Post
                  I must say you are much more understanding than I would be, personnally I would write him a letter along the following lines.

                  Dear Pointless Jobsworth

                  Thank you for your letter of the x please could you provide the following information.

                  - The precise statute and regulation that you are depending on for your statement that the doors need covering with mdf.
                  - A full copy of the risk assesment that you have carried out against this solution against all others that you considered. ( I can think of at least 4)
                  - As you have gone on record as stating that the current glass is insuffcient, please furnish me with a full copy of the laboratory analysis that you performed on the glass to show that it is insufficient for the current purpose.
                  - A clear statement that you accept full liabilty on behalf of the council for any accident caused by the reduction in available light in the hallway.
                  - A copy of your qualifications that show your fitness to dictate the required solution to any building issues, for example a current RICS qualification as a chartered surveyor.

                  Pretty much how I replied to be honest, I requested a copy of the legislation she was referring to. I'm actually Nebosh qualified so know a bit about H&S law.

                  Her reply was there is no legal requirement as I suspected, it was her opinion and the issuing of the deposit bond depends on her say so. she went on to threaten if I didn't comply she would suggest the flat is unsuitable for the tenant.

                  Limited power and even more limited intellect = pain in the arse.

                  I have spoken with the tenant and she is happy with the place as is, her child is 4 months old and as such not very mobile.

                  If the worst outcome is I don't get the council bond so be it, from what I hear they are not worth the paper they are written on anyway. The tennat has already signed the AST and her parents have signed a Garantor contract.

                  All the best everyone

                  MC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, at least I've now heard of NEBOSH (National Examination Board of Occupational Safety and Health)! You live and learn.
                    See http://uk.ask.com/web?q=%22nebosh%22...=196&o=0&l=dir
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment

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