This is the letter that Sefton council sent to me
I refer to the recent inspection of the above property. As you will be aware, our visit included carrying out an assessment of housing conditions using the ‘Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004.
The inspection identified certain deficiencies in the property that constitute ‘Category 1’ and/or ‘Category 2’ hazards. The Local Housing Authority (LHA) has a statutory duty to take action where Category 1 hazards exist and a ‘power’ to deal with Category 2 hazards at our discretion.
As this is a licensable property you will, therefore, need to take steps to remove or reduce the hazards identified below. It is our policy to work with landlords wherever possible to achieve improvements informally and consequently we give you the opportunity to effect the necessary improvement or repairs, within reasonable time-scales.
Category 1 Hazards
Although there is evidence of battery smoke detection to the property, due to the complex layout of the property I will require the following remedial works:
Install a Grade D LD3 inter linked mains wired smoke alarm system with integral battery back-up located to the ground floor and to the first-floor landing to provide early warning in the event of a fire.
a) The means of escape from the front and rear bedrooms is through “inner rooms”. In this case the rear lounge which is a high risk area. Therefore, it is necessary to provide an additional means of escape via an escape window to both bedrooms with a minimum opening of :
0.33M2 (750 mm x 450 mm) The windows should be fitted with a window restrictor with a maximum opening of:
100 mm and should be easily overridden by an adult in the event of a fire.
b) Supply and fit a FD30S door to both bedrooms. The doors should be installed and maintained in accordance with BS 8214:1990
Ensure the electrical outlet socket to the bathroom has indeed been isolated and a blanking plate is installed. Additional precautions should be taken where the occupant is in close contact with water and electricity.
Category 2 Hazards 1. Fallingonstairs
The guarding to the stairs is to prevent falls and should be designed and constructed to support the weight of people leaning against Page1of2
The horizontal members had openings in excess of 100 mm sphere which would facilitate a small child and will need to be altered to meet compliance.
Provide a grid cover to each, ensuring the gullies are free from blockages and debris to enable water to be safely discharged to the drainage system.
Timescale for completion of works is as follows:
As an interim measure install a Battery smoke detector to first floor landing within 7 days from the date of this letter Remainder of works - 4 months from the date of this letter
Please note that the above works may require Building Regulations Approval and where this is the case, documentation will be required to confirm compliance.
If you can complete the above improvements within the timescales indicated then it should not be necessary for the LHA to take formal action in respect of the hazards identified.
However, should you fail to satisfactorily complete the improvements within the time allotted, then the Authority may have no alternative but to take further enforcement action.
Where service of Improvement Notices is necessary, it is our policy to charge a fee to cover the administration costs associated with their preparation and service. Current fees can be found on our website www.sefton.gov.uk
Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice is a criminal offence which can be punishable by a fine of any amount upon summary conviction, or you may be subject to a Civil Penalty of up to £30,000.
Furthermore, persons who have been convicted for contravention of Housing Act, notices, orders or regulations might not be considered a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a housing licence.
A copy of this letter has been sent to all other parties with an interest in these premises.
I trust this explains the position and look forward to your response. If you have queries please do not hesitate to contact me.