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Michal

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    fire safety, health & safety

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  1. but if I rent it room by room (multiple AST) then it may need to comply with FSO. It already has hardwired smoke detector on both floors. Please be informed that the FSO applies to all HMOs regardless of whether it is a shared house HMO or a bedsit HMO or even the so-called s.257 (house converted to flats with no Building Completion Certificate). The fire safety law only applies to communal areas though. Importantly, it is irrelevant whether HMO requires a licences under the HA 2004 or not. FSO still applies. Do not forget to contact the LA's private sector housing and enquire about additional licensing schemes for HMOs. It appears that your HMO need not be licensed under the new mandatory licensing scheme (less than 5 people). However, it may fall under the additional licensing scheme provided that the they run the scheme. Some LAs run the schemes and some don't. The LA have to justify the introduction of the additional licensing. Furthermore, you might as well check with the LA that the bedrooms are of appropriate size for the new room size standard for HMO licenses. Good luck
  2. Anything can be challenged but if he/she suggested 'zero tolerance' policy it would be difficult to challenge it. Mind you, enforcing authorities favour this policy over the 'managed use' policy.
  3. I'm sorry to disappoint you but the HA have a choice with regards to controlling the presence of combustible materials and ignition sources in communal areas. It seems to me that they adopted ‘zero tolerance’ policy, i.e. the common parts are effectively ‘sterile’ - free of combustible materials, ignition sources and obstructions based on the fire risk assessment. The alternative would be to adopt the ‘managed use’ policy. There are advantages and disadvantages to both policies. The so called 'managed use' policy would allow residents to store, for example, pot plants and door mats outside their front doors, have framed pictures and notice boards on walls, store bicycles, prams and mobility scooters in places that are out of the way and not likely to cause obstruction. If I were you, I would accept their findings. The HA may quote 'Fire safety in purpose-builtblocks of flats' guide. Although this is only a guidance document (unlike Approved Code of Practices enshrined in law), this guide is widely used by enforcing authorities, amongst others. Good luck!
  4. Is this safe or legal? This is a serious breach under Article 14 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. As my predecessor explained, the bar must be removed when the building is occupied. Who can I contact about this. If you're concerned about the management procedures, you can send an email to the fire brigade for the attention of fire safety team. You may want to attached the picture as well - a picture paints a thousand words.
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