Property condition factors in letting

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    Property condition factors in letting

    Hi again!

    I have a old place that I'm thinking of letting - the 'period tenancy' would be best I think (previous thread). What I was wondering is does one require certain items to be there in the house? I.e. bath/kitchen etc. Its a totally unimproved old style farmworkers house. There is a toilet...a outside **** pit. There are washing up facilities...outside. There are bathing facilities...heated up water on the stove poured into a bath. Water is from a well/rainwater tubs. These methods would comply with environmental health regs, and the concepts descibed in the Landlord and tennat act (LTA) 1985...but not in the specific sense of a bathroom, a kitchen and so on. It would obviously be a nice cheap rent for someone wanting outdoor life...theres no road access and its 1/2 from the sea on Anglesey. True heaven in summer...can be tough in winter.

    Can I legally rent out this property?

    #2
    Your property is unfit for habitation under the standards set out in various Housing Acts.

    Any dwelling house is deemed fit for human habitation unless it fails to meet one or other of several requirements and by reason of that failure is not reasonably suitable for occupation.

    The requirements used to determine fitness for habitation are:-

    it is structurally stable;
    it is free from serious disrepair;
    it is free from dampness prejudicial to the health of the occupants (if any);
    it has adequate provision for lighting, heating and ventilation;
    it has an adequate piped supply of wholesome water; there are satisfactory facilities in the dwelling for the preparation and cooking of food, including a sink with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water;
    it has a suitably located water closet for the exclusive use of the occupants (if any);
    it has, for the exclusive use of the occupants (if any), a suitably located fixed bath or shower and a wash hand basin each of which is provided with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water; and
    it has an effective system for the draining of foul water and surface water.
    If a council identifies a property which fails to meet one or more of the above requirements, it is deemed to be unfit for human habitation. In these circumstances the council must determine the most satisfactory course of action to be taken with that property. There are several options available to the council:

    a repair notice
    a closing order
    a demolition order,

    You will be in serious breach of contract of your duties of a landlord if you let out an unfit property and liable to damages and compensation from your tenant.

    Has Council Tax been paid on the property or is it regarded as closed or unfit?
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, council tax is being paid

      I hope that you descibe regs regarding tennents only, because they are not declaring this nivarna unfit for my habitation!

      Is a 'repair lease' a possibility?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Worldlife
        Your property is unfit for habitation under the standards set out in various Housing Acts.

        Any dwelling house is deemed fit for human habitation unless it fails to meet one or other of several requirements and by reason of that failure is not reasonably suitable for occupation.

        The requirements used to determine fitness for habitation are:-

        it is structurally stable;
        it is free from serious disrepair;
        it is free from dampness prejudicial to the health of the occupants (if any);
        it has adequate provision for lighting, heating and ventilation;
        it has an adequate piped supply of wholesome water; there are satisfactory facilities in the dwelling for the preparation and cooking of food, including a sink with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water;
        it has a suitably located water closet for the exclusive use of the occupants (if any);
        it has, for the exclusive use of the occupants (if any), a suitably located fixed bath or shower and a wash hand basin each of which is provided with a satisfactory supply of hot and cold water; and
        it has an effective system for the draining of foul water and surface water.
        If a council identifies a property which fails to meet one or more of the above requirements, it is deemed to be unfit for human habitation. In these circumstances the council must determine the most satisfactory course of action to be taken with that property. There are several options available to the council:

        a repair notice
        a closing order
        a demolition order,

        You will be in serious breach of contract of your duties of a landlord if you let out an unfit property and liable to damages and compensation from your tenant.

        Has Council Tax been paid on the property or is it regarded as closed or unfit?
        Dead and buried all of the above Worldlife, 604 is no longer enforceable unless an operative statutory notice was issued before 6th April 2006 it would be the HHSRS after this date

        The property King Amdo describes would fail miserably under HHSRS and to be quite frank it would be a Category 1 hazard property..............what to do with it would be upto the local authority, if he rented it off at a guess they would start with an improvement notice, fail to comply with that and its down hill for King Amdo after that

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by red40
          Dead and buried all of the above Worldlife, 604 is no longer enforceable unless an operative statutory notice was issued before 6th April 2006 it would be the HHSRS after this date

          The property King Amdo describes would fail miserably under HHSRS and to be quite frank it would be a Category 1 hazard property..............what to do with it would be upto the local authority, if he rented it off at a guess they would start with an improvement notice, fail to comply with that and its down hill for King Amdo after that
          Agreed red40 - see LandlordZONE HHSRS Rating System

          There seems to be much in the new legislation setting out "broad perspective" concepts to improve of fitness standards but I have not yet hit the detail in a simple comprehensive form such as set out in this previous legislation. Would welcome links to such more detailed information.

          If the place was unfit under the outgoing standards (which this one is) then it is likely to be more unfit under the new
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Worldlife
            but I have not yet hit the detail in a simple comprehensive form such as set out in this previous legislation. Would welcome links to such more detailed information.
            HHSRS a landlords guide this is about as simple as it is going to get I'm afraid Worldlife. There are other documents on the net but I think this is the best at the moment, until somebody writes a decent book

            It is all new and it takes a while to get your head around it, not just how the scoring system works (which might bother you) but also how categories are chosen and scored to get to the banding to which enforcement action could/should be taken.

            Another guide

            And another, this one isn't to bad

            I hope these do help, of course nothing has been tested through the legal system yet, but I am sure it will be.

            HHSRS doesn't just apply to a rented property, it applies to all residential dwellings.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by red40
              HHSRS a landlords guide this is about as simple as it is going to get I'm afraid Worldlife. There are other documents on the net but I think this is the best at the moment, until somebody writes a decent book

              It is all new and it takes a while to get your head around it, not just how the scoring system works (which might bother you) but also how categories are chosen and scored to get to the banding to which enforcement action could/should be taken.

              Another guide

              And another, this one isn't to bad

              I hope these do help, of course nothing has been tested through the legal system yet, but I am sure it will be.

              HHSRS doesn't just apply to a rented property, it applies to all residential dwellings.
              I'd also throw in S79 of the EPA(1990) as it sounds like a statutory nucience being prediciual to health.Have a word with Billy Whizz he seems to know a good demolition contractor.
              Last edited by pms; 06-06-2006, 22:22 PM. Reason: added comment
              Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks Red40 for your links.

                I have read the relevant documents and remain unclear as to the exact scoring or rating of King Amdo's property.

                Maybe one of our pundits can provide an HHSRS assessment summary and action plan on the basis of the information provided so far by King Amdo.

                The property was unfit under previous standards!

                Note pms's suggestion re EPA and making contact with the appropriate demolition contractor
                Vic - wicked landlord
                Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Worldlife
                  Thanks guys for your links.

                  I have read the relevant documents and remain unclear as to the exact scoring or rating of King Amdo's property.

                  Maybe one of our pundits can provide an HHSRS assessment summary and action plan on the basis of the information provided so far by King Amdo.

                  The property was unfit under previous standards!
                  Worldlife:From what King Amdo has told us about his property no doubt it would be a catogry 1 hazard.I'll be breif.Basically an EHO would go to the property and access the condition using the 29 different items laid down by parliment which range from mould to trip hazards etc.The EHO would score out of a 1000 depending on the hazard and to what effect it would have on the tenants so for example mould would be a Catogry 1 hazard,no proper washing facilites would be a Catogry 1 hazard so eventully they would go through the property scoring against each hazard until they came to a final score.They then take into consideration the age of the tenants or occupants of the property and to what effect that would have on them.It is basically a risk assessment and yourself like me an EHO would have to make a decsion on enforcement action.In the 2004 Housing Act they define hazard " as something that would injure of be prediciual to health.Another example would be a property converted before 1985 which comprises of self contained flats which would now be classed as an HMO and has a lack of fire protection.It is all very complexed and to explain it fully would take all night.I suggest going to the ODPM website and typing in HHSRS this will give you the basic guidelines.In the case of King Amdos property the EHO would take enforcement action or possabily go to court under S80/82 of the EPA.
                  Last edited by pms; 06-06-2006, 23:17 PM. Reason: added comment
                  Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks pms - I didn't see anything in the original linked documents to clarify how the points on the scoring were allocated.

                    On the basis of your post am I correct in thinking along the lines that even on this cursory assessment do we have a maximum hazard rating of 1000 for five different key items thus making it a group A property?

                    Much water has flown under the bridge since my early retirement!

                    Great to get these updates and discussion on this forum.
                    Vic - wicked landlord
                    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      After sleeping on this!! In order to get the maximum 1000 points on any issue (say one item from the old fitness standards) would there have to be added factors? For example in connection with an external toilet would it be necessary to consider the distance it was away from the property, the surface of the pathway to that external toilet, whether there was artificial lighting to the pathway and toilet and whether the occupants were (dependent on their age) likely to suffer fatal or very severe injury as a result of a fall on the way to the loo! Alternatively would the external toilet automatically score the 1000 maximum points?
                      Vic - wicked landlord
                      Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                      Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This maybe a better site Worldlife for what you are looking for, HHSRS constructed by Eho practitioners.

                        Without suitable training it is a hard scoring system to understand

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi again!

                          mmm, I really don't think that environmental health could say that there were any problems there...From my knoledge of these matters, which is quite a lot, I'm pretty certain that environmental health regs are complied with...with regards to washing up, waste etc etc etc....I much prefer doing washing up outside now, moving the washing up table now and again. The compost you get from the **** pit (2/3 years rotting down) is unbelievable! Recycle urine similarly for the garden. In fact its very very nice, and sustainable. But you guys are talking about other inspectorates yes?

                          Mind blowing fruit and flower garden there now, as I said no road access overlooking the sea, so hardly any road noise. Oh there is mains electric, but I disconnected it because I used so little...likewise the phone. (line rental too expensive!)

                          ...now I'm thinking of purchasing a place in the weald of kent also...but would like to retain this other place because the 'forest garden' (fruiting and fuitiing eco system) is in need of more development. Check out this excellent resource...

                          http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/

                          It's really not like some sort of inner city squalid nightmare!

                          Also please! info on 'repair leases'...do these still exist in law?

                          Thanks!

                          Comment

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