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HMO - Freeholder or Leasehold responsible

Chris Marriott

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This seems very simple to me but Bromley council seem to be making my life difficult. 

I live in a downstairs flat that i own. Upstairs is owned by Mr DG and he rents it out. Me and Mr DG both own equal share of the freehold. It is considered a HMO


The condition of the flat upstairs is terrible and the council have placed an environmental order on him to improve the state of his tenanted flat. Which he has ignored. 

The council have also put an order on me as a freeholder for fire safety issues due to no fire alarm in the communal area. 

I have now fitted a fire alarm in the common hallway (which is wired to my own system). 

But the council are saying that as a joint freeholder I am jointly  responsible for the fire alarms in his flat as the entire property is a  HMO. 

My understanding is that I am responsible for communal areas with Mr DG and that Mr DG is responsible for the fire alarms in his (tenanted ) flat.

Im hoping someone can confirm my suspicion!

Essentially Mr DG has ignored the council completely and they are trying to squeeze me to fit fire alarms in his flat. Which I'm fairly sure I have no legal obligation to do. 








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They will be talking about the elements of the communal system required in the building - there should be a common system in addition to the individual smoke alarms to each flat and this common system includes alarms/detectors in each flat





As you are the freeholder responsible for the common areas under the Fire Safety Order and Housing Act you are responsible along with the other owner for the above systems being implemented. If he won't contribute his 50% of the costs it's a civil legal matter between you and him, but if nothing is provided you both risk crimina proceedings under Housing and Fire Safety legislation.

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