Does bathroom with window need extraction fans?

by Readers Question

8:47 AM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Does bathroom with window need extraction fans?

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Does bathroom with window need extraction fans?

Hi Everyone at Property118,

One of my rented properties received a visit from an Environmental Health Officer. One of the listed defects is the bathroom, citing the lack of extraction fans.

The bathroom has a large window with openings.

My question is; am I really still required to install extraction fans regardless of there being a large window that can be opened?

Thank you

Terence



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:52 AM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Not being an expert but from a few searches it appears new bathrooms should include an extraction fan and or areas of high moisture. If the existing bathroom has an opening outside window it is not a requirement.

However, the Council may have additional licensing requirements. There may be health issues and it would be good practice.

Gunga Din

10:53 AM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Thee's no guarantee the tenants will open the window when necessary, and then it might as well not have one. Some people just don't get the need for ventilation, and the need to do so proactively after a bath, shower or during drying clothes in there. In cold weather particularly, some people hermetically seal the dwelling and crank up the heating > mould > they blame the property and deny its their lifestyle choice thats the cause > conflict > give them notice > retaliatory eviction accusation and so on.

Just put in a timed fan and set it to maximum duration.

Adam Withford

11:52 AM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Tenants will also just switch the fan off and cover the vent with a towel. Just put it in the heads of agreement so there is no misunderstanding that the property needs to be ventilated to not become infested with mould. I've already been through this.

Frederick Morrow-Ahmed

12:07 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Is that the photo of the bathroom in question? It's really a lovely bathroom, like out of a glossy magazine! I believe the Buildings Regulations only require an extractor fan if the window dimensions are below a certain figure. Do check up on this in Approved Document F.

@Neil, it's really a scandal that Councils are allowed to set their own laws, aka 'Conditions'. There should be only one set of national laws that all are required to follow. And these should be clear cut on an objective basis, leaving no room for subjective interpretation by petty, power-hungry bureaucrats eager to throw their weight around.

Terence Chua

12:31 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Thank you very much for all your informative responses. Bexley Council has recently introduced selective licensing scheme and is definitely setting their own standards.

Rob Crawford

12:39 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by at 18/03/2019 - 12:31
Relatively easy to install, unfortunately you will need to get it installed by a qualified electrical engineer. Do you have any other electrical work planned if so add it to the list. Testing of the fixed installation will soon be a legal requirement, so if not done already, maybe plan it in with that. I would always get one fitted. I suspect you will regret it if you don't (ref condensation & mould).

Neil Patterson

13:44 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Sorry Frederick it was just an example bathroom with window for illustrative purposes.

Mike W

14:02 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

I sometimes wonder whether we live in UK or USSR. Whilst modern building regulations may set a requirement for a bathroom fan even if there is a window, I am surprised that some people say they can't afford to buy a house or flat. I wonder what increases the new build cost .... unnecessary equipment?
As to the council applying new build regulation to old houses, they don't do it to owner occupiers do they? Do they apply the same regulation to ALL of their own council property?
Level playing field.

Oh and by the way Scotland is thinking of introducing regulation that requires owner occupiers to have minimum EPC levels in order to sell property ...

And one other gem. Building regulations (Scotland) have now made houses virtually airtight. And of course people are not used to this so they go to bed and don't ventilate. So now building regulations require a carbon dioxide alarm in bedrooms, so people don't die from carbon dioxide poisoning. Seriously! Section 3.14.2 of 2017 regs.

So we will all be living in state owned high rise boxes soon.

From a practical point of view, if you assume tenants don't know about these sorts of aspects of how to live a healthy life, or don't care about damaging your property with condensation or mould, then you put in a fan like the Rolls Royce RB211. That should sort it.

John Walker

17:44 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

Firstly, make sure the window opens and closes easily, or, if only single glazed, put in a fan connected to the light switch and black out the window.

Yvonne Francis

18:01 PM, 18th March 2019
About a month ago

My Council make me have an extractor fan in all my bathrooms whether or whether not they have a window. I connect my extractor fans to my light switch and put the isolation switch as high as possible. They are never turned off, and if they were, I would insist they are used, as I have HMO’s. However whether this would apply to other sorts of letting would simply depend on your Council.

Personally I would prefer to have extractor fans, as steam is so damaging especially with tenanted properties, as tenants usually do not have as much care as owner occupiers. If they damage your property with steam, resulting in mould, if they turn the extractor off, you can at least rest assured you have given them some means of avoiding it and charge them for the damage.

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