Is a log fire in a BTL madness??!

by Readers Question

14:04 PM, 6th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Is a log fire in a BTL madness??!

Make Text Bigger
Is a log fire in a BTL madness??!

I have just bought a nice little Victorian terraced house in a good area, to let out. It has been owner occupied until now, and it has a solid fuel stove installed in the living room fire place.

What do people think … is it madness to leave this there, should I pay to have it removed? I am not sure also how this would affect insurance, and whether I should insert a special clause into the contract….?

Any thoughts?

Matthewfire



Comments

Rob Crawford

19:11 PM, 6th January 2015
About 4 years ago

I think a solid fuel fire will reduce the number of tenant candidates who would be interested in renting the property. How old if the fire?, is it energy efficient?, will additional cleaning be required? extra effort required to stay warm? is fuel available? You should still get a carbon monoxide detector fitted (although this is not currently a legal requirement). What other heating does the property have? If a modern boiler & central heating system in place I would be inclined to remove it. If not I would be inclined to get a modern heating system installed.

Matthew Turner

23:16 PM, 6th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Sorry, yes I should have been clearer, the house has an upto date central heating system too, it isn't a hovel ...!
This burner is purely a living room self contained stove, installed due to the previous owners sense of cottageyness. And it looks great.
But it would cost hundreds to get removed and made good, and could burn the house down of course...

Neil Woodhead

11:56 AM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

As long as alternative heating available a log burning stove can be an attractive plus for tenants and what would you put in its place?

You will need to budget for cleaning the flue annually and getting it serviced to check condition of bricks etc. Unless policy specifically excludes log fires it should not affect insurance

Tony Atkins

12:50 PM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

It depends on the type of tenants you are looking for, but I would have thought most good, sensible tenants would positively value the log fire: it can help give the house some character and a home-like feel.

Assuming you get to meet prospective tenants, why don't you ask them what they think of the fire? Their response will help you decide what kind of tenant they are going to be, and hence their suitability.

As regards the contract, you should retain responsibility for having the fire serviced, to make sure this is done and keep an eye on how it is being used (e.g. no nappies or plastic should be burnt in it!). It would be a good idea to talk them through lighting and sweeping out the fire, as a lot of people are clueless and it will get them into good habits.

Insurance - ask your insurers.

Ian Narbeth

12:56 PM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

I have had, in different houses, an open fire and a Jotul wood burning stove. No problems with the latter though you have to have the chimney swept every year. The former was OK but tenants weren't always good at putting the fire guard up so we had a few embers on the (rather old and tatty) carpet.
If your stove is just decorative then I would offer the tenants that if they wan to use it they pay for a sweep of the chimney every year.

John Gell

13:11 PM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

I'd be inclined to leave it Matthew as it sounds like an attractive feature which should enhance appeal of the property.

Essential however to follow Neil's advice and also to stipulate in the tenancy agreement that only wood is burnt (unless the stove is specifically designed to also burn coal). Tenants burn g damp logs can cause problems with tarring of the flue so you should advise them not to do that.

maggie hurst

13:33 PM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

An alternative form of heating is particularly appreciated when there is a power failure or when the boiler breaks down. We all know that these things do happen!

Ian Narbeth

13:37 PM, 7th January 2015
About 4 years ago

@John Gell Depending on your tenants, if damp logs are cheaper than dry ones they will try to burn damp ones whatever the tenancy says!

Tony Atkins

12:21 PM, 8th January 2015
About 4 years ago

One solution to the "damp logs" problem would be for the landlord to supply the logs and order a fresh batch when the store is running low. You would agree with the tenant that they will reimburse you for this service, which relieves them the burden of sourcing the logs and means you can make sure the right quality is being used.

Reader

13:02 PM, 8th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Total bonkers idea, just think of the implications for fire damage to the property or burns to your tenants or tenants property. You can buy wall hung electric fires that show a picture of a log fire, a lot safer.

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Patrick Collinson has got it wrong yet again!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More