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Guest alex griff

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Guest alex griff

i have a two bed mid terraced property in sefton liverpool.I recently had the council licensing come to a appointment to inspect for a landlord licensing.

the property is rented out to a female couple on a 12 month agreement.

The inspector said i needed a electrical fire alarm instead of the 3 battery operated ones also fire doors on the bedrooms and fire escape windows to the bedrooms

I am flabergasted to the comments but want advice ,i am a member of the NRLA but they said get a fire accessor report done ,to which i am waiting for a reply.. But how do i stand ,do i need these improvements or are there alternatives ???

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This sounds like the Council is treating your premises as a HMO requiring licensing and with it more stringent fire safety requirements than a typical house.

Your description is of a typical single household let which doesn't require mandatory licensing and does not require the additional precautions mentioned - also it isn't covered by the Fire Safety Order and doesn't require a Fire Risk Assessment.

When did you personally (not any agent you may employ) last inspect the premises? It's not unknown for the original tenants to illegally sublet and thus bring the house under HMO & Fire Safety legislation - it's also not unknown for agents to do this either whilst letting their client think they have a single traditional tenant.

If your property is in Bootle (in the areas in this map https://www.sefton.gov.uk/media/1329025/BootleSL_map.pdf and on this list   https://www.sefton.gov.uk/media/1329022/SL-Designation_Final.pdf)then there is a Selective Licensing scheme where Sefton Council have acquired the rights to license ALL rental premises, even single household lets (usually because of a high percentage of rental properties found in deficient condition in the area) in which case you would need a license, but unless it's been turned into a HMO without your knowledge the fire safety requirements are minimal:

Escape routes 
No requirement for full 30-minute protected route * but the escape route should have sound, conventional construction and should not pass through risk rooms

No requirement for fire doors *, but sound, well constructed and close-fitting conventional doors are required Alternatively, provide suitable escape windows from bedrooms and living rooms

Fire separation 

No requirement for additional fire resistance, but walls and floors should be of sound, conventional construction. If a basement/cellar is present, 30-minute separation between the cellar and the ground floor escape route is the ideal 

Fire detection and alarm system

Grade D1, LD3 system • interlinked mains wired smoke alarms with integral tamperproof battery back-up located in the escape route at ground and first floor levels; and • additional interlinked smoke alarms with integral battery back-up located in any cellar

Lighting of escape routes

No requirement for emergency escape lighting, but conventional artificial lighting is required

Fire fighting equipment

 It is recommended good practice to provide a fire blanket in the kitchen

Fire safety signs

No requirement

Surface finishes & floor coverings

 No requirement

Management and maintenance of fire safety

It is recommended that all doors are kept closed at night

* where construction standards are poor, travel distances are long or other higher risk factors are present, a 30-minute protected route may be required.





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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
1. Fire
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.
First Floor
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
2. Electricalhazards
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.
2. Personalhygiene,SanitationandDrainage
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.


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They seem to be correctly applying the LACORS guidance now I have the detail as to why they are requiring these steps, the additional steps are due to the unusual layout. The fire alarm requirement is still domestic alarms, just the mains type as have been required for many years.

As it's clear the premises are in the selective licensing area you are going to need to do the work.

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