HMO Question – are basins in bedrooms mandatory?

by Readers Question

15:19 PM, 9th November 2013
About 7 years ago

HMO Question – are basins in bedrooms mandatory?

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HMO Question – are basins in bedrooms mandatory?

Is it a legal requirement that every bedroom in a licensable HMO has to have a wash hand basin?

I have been jumping through hoops for a year to try and get a licence on a three storey 6-bed HMO. I had a letter from the council in 2011 saying that as I had three bathrooms and two separate WCs, all with wash hand basins, I didn’t have to put basins in the bedrooms, but would have to when I re-licensed in five years time. HMO - Bedrooms with basins mandatory?

I have now been given a draft of a licence to check which requires me to put basins in within two months.

Thanks

Edna

 



Comments

Industry Observer

18:06 PM, 13th November 2013
About 7 years ago

Richard

But s257's only need a licence if caught in an Additional Licensing Scheme - so therefore 2007 Reg 12 would only apply in those situations - never in mandatory licensing?

Richard Lord

19:23 PM, 13th November 2013
About 7 years ago

I refer to my earlier answer- Reg 12 is relevant for S 257 flats if licensed in an additional scheme AND also Part 2 mandatory HMO's.

Ultimately this is a matter for the person who posed te questions and the local LA. In my opinion the LA have not read Reg 12 properly.

Mark Crampton Smith

8:00 AM, 14th November 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Lord" at "13/11/2013 - 19:23":

Richard, I concur that many EHOs are picking up on the potential income stream that licensing represents against a background of cuts across the board. They go to meetings with other EHOs from authorities where additional licensing has been introduced, and adopt practices based on information received........not from the legislation. Landlords with HMOs in Buckingham are applying for licenses and in some cases are spending 10s of thousands of pounds on the assistance of the EHO. There has been no introduction of additional licensing in Aylesbury Vale, and the EHO is claiming that the work required is enforceable simply through management regs. He is as yet making no charge for this "service"

Industry Observer

8:04 AM, 14th November 2013
About 7 years ago

Mark

Far as I am aware he cannot make such a charge

All besides the point though - as I keep saying always make them quote absolute specific chapter and verse that supports their ability to LEGALLY enforce what they want.

I agree - many authorities operate on a policy of preferences - as do many other departments specifically LHA, Council Tax and sometimes planning

Richard Peeters

9:02 AM, 22nd August 2016
About 4 years ago

Update 2016 ...

We have five mandatorily licensed HMOs in one LA, and were all built between 2003-2005 next to a new Uni campus. They have all been occupied as HMOs since they were built. Each of the houses has an ensuite shower room with washbasin and toilet, and shared bathroom with washbasin and toilet, and a cloakroom with washbasin.

Now on renewal of the licenses, the LA has decided that they all need hand wash basins in all bedrooms, and giving just six months to comply, despite the fact that they have been comfortable and safe HMOs for 10+ years. That would make a total of seven wash basins for five occupants per house.

There are obviously financial and practical reasons for NOT providing these, but I would say also health reasons: can you imagine what some students would do with wash basins in their rooms? What happens when a wash basin gets blocked (e.g. by “foreign matter”) and floods the bedroom and ruins the walls, ceilings and carpets below?

Besides hot and cold water supply, waste pipe, new flooring, splashbacks and waterproofing, this could also trigger replacement of boilers because the four additional washbasins could overload the hot water delivery capacity if all hot taps were on at the same time.

The regulation says they should be provided “in so far as it is reasonably practicable to comply”, and how is it possible to argue against this? We have sent men to the Moon, and other landlords have blindly complied (just as the LA is blindly enforcing), so how can we argue against this ridiculous requirement?

H B

14:15 PM, 22nd August 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Peeters" at "22/08/2016 - 09:02":

As an undergraduate I stayed in halls of residence where every room had a basin and as far as I know there was never any problem with them getting blocked so I think you over worry on that front.

Richard Peeters

8:13 AM, 18th November 2016
About 4 years ago

If you have noticed that the Government now intends to force mandatory licensing on ALL HMOs of 3 or more unrelated occupants, then the implication is that ALL HMOs will come under the statutory requirement for hand wash basins in ALL bedrooms "where reasonably practicable".

The problem is that no-one defines what is "reasonably practicable", and our local authority is keen to interpret it as "technically feasible". We can get a man on the Moon, so of course there is no technical argument against their forcing hand wash basins wherever they want them.

It is one thing to enforce this for newbuild or for newly converted HMOs, but quite another to enforce a retrofit of existing HMOs, which may have been operating without wash basins in all rooms, as ours have for 10+ years with no demand or complaint from the hundreds of occupants over that period.

It is up to the RPT to decide (we have our Hearing coming up), but there is no national guidance, and no case history. There are other RPT decisions on the subject, but they are not supposed to be considered as precedents, as each case is meant to be dealt with on its own merit. Basin by basin!

The Tribunal process costs £100 to apply, another £100 for an inspection fee (of the property), and yet another £100 for the Hearing fee. They are hearing two properties at the same time, on one case reference number, and inspecting them together (2 mins walk from each other), and yet the fees still apply per property = a hit of £600 so far taken for the team 🙂

The positive side of the Tribunal process is that each side has to pay their own costs (not the loser paying costs of both).

Mike Strutter

18:11 PM, 14th August 2017
About 3 years ago

Did anyone get anywhere with this? I am in the same situation. Have told them that it will be too costly to which I was told this wasn't acceptable! Any help would be appreciated.

Mark Crampton Smith

12:17 PM, 15th August 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike Strutter at 14/08/2017 - 18:11which local authority are you in......? I do find it difficult to believe that there are still LAs who are insisting on basins in bedrooms.

Mike Strutter

14:06 PM, 15th August 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Crampton Smith at 15/08/2017 - 12:17East Yorkshire. Pain in the bum!

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