Is bedroom in roof space legal?

by Readers Question

10:04 AM, 6th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Is bedroom in roof space legal?

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Is bedroom in roof space legal?

In the past I have purchased numerous properties and added a bedroom(s) in the roof space (so the property then had a ground floor, 1st floor and roof space 3rd floor) and then rent the property out.roof

In order to comply with building regulations I had to ensure that all bedrooms had fire doors and that the staircases and landings/hallways had direct exit from the house direct from an external door without having to go through any other room.

I am looking to purchase a property which already has a bedroom in the roof space (3rd floor) but there are no fire doors to the bedrooms or direct exit from the property from the staircase/hallway. Is this property Ok and legal to rent out.

It obtained the relevant building regulation consent when this was built pre 1976.

Many thanks

Martin



Comments

Bill O'Dell

11:36 AM, 6th April 2016
About 3 years ago

I think this will depend on what you are offering for rent. If you are letting on 1 AST to 1 family then I don't think it will matter. However if you are going to let to professionals or students as an HMO, you will need to meet the HMO regulations as they are currently - and in that case you will have a problem with the exit route. The only way round that is to let to 2 "households" ie 2 couples or 2 singletons, as you are below the threshold then for an HMO.
That's my take on the regulations.

steve gilbert

11:44 AM, 6th April 2016
About 3 years ago

That is absolutely fine. Before becoming a landlord I run a company that just carried out loft conversions in London. I cant be bothered to look up dates and sections so forgive the vagueness. There used to be a concession for loft conversions right up until the very early 2000's. I believe the fire regs are part B (cant remember) but you had a choice you could either create a 1/2 hour fire corridor as is now the case or as long as the route to the front door to loft was seperate from any room, no going through a lounge without a hallway, all one had to do was fit door closers of any kind on all habitable rooms and make sure the loft had an emergency escape window (basically a top hung velux set quite low down in room and of a certain size).
Sorry I dont have time to look up specifics but this is correct and your 1976 conversion should be fine. You can look up the regs on planning portal. From there look up fire which i think is B and then look at ammendments which should tell you when rules changed

Small Landlord

16:20 PM, 6th April 2016
About 3 years ago

When you are purchasing, if you are doing it with a mortgage, the valuer might have something to say about it. We had something similar 2 years back for a BTL mortgage. Property was a 2 bed with the loft converted for a 3rd bedroom, but no firedoors etc. Valuer said property was worth £25k less than the price we agreed (as only a 2 bed) and would only be on the basis that 'loft conversion' was put back to a pre converted space. ie block off stairs and reinstate insulation in roof etc.

Vendors weren't prepared to do work (was a probate sale) and couldn't use any sort of creative strategy, ie exchange with delayed completion, lease option. We had to walk away from purchase having spent for surveys, solicitors searches etc. Property over next 18 months was on and off the market 4 times as issue kept popping up. Eventually went as a cash sale.


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