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Wednesday 12th September 2018

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 6

landlord andrew

19:28 PM, 10th May 2021, About 9 months ago

How liable would we be in the case of a fire?

I write as a freeholder and fire risk assessor. Do speak to local fire officer, and yes you should get a fire risk assessment from a qualified assessor with liability insurance ( especially important post Grenfell ) , but the fire officer will tell you that .
When were the two buildings converted to flats? In many areas including mine, additional licensing includes section 257 HMOs , which is self contained flats converted before 1991 where 66% or more flats are rented ( some councils it is 50% or more ). So do check if you need an HMO license ! If you need HMO license but haven't got one and your building is not upgraded to latest fire safety standards , then the council will not go easy on you.

My block was converted pre 1991 but I had renovated to latest building regs before licensing introduced and got a licensing exemption. I have a flat in a block where I am not the freeholder and they had not completed renovations when licensing was introduced , so that has a license .

Without knowing more details and seeing the property it is difficult to comment accurately , but if there is a shared hallway/stairway I would expect a panel fire alarm system with sensors on every floor ( including cellar if you have one ) and in every flat and separate interlinked smoke sensors in each flat. I would also want emergency lights , escape signs , arson protection ( external letter boxes ) , testing and servicing schedule for alarm and emergency lights , eicr certificate for communal electrics, fire proof electric cupboard (if you have one in communal areas )to 30mins , etc etc etc .....

If you follow advise of fire officer ( which might be more than advise , it might be compulsory ) and carry out all the actions in the fire risk assessment , then you can sleep easy that you have followed expert advise . If sadly an incident did occur , you can then prove to investigating authorities and insurance assessor that you followed expert advise.... Read More

landlord andrew

17:30 PM, 27th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Trying to raise my EPC rating as tenants moving out?

Hi Mary
The more modern storage heaters have automatic charge and temperature control ( that adjust to changing weather/temperature ) through use of thermostats and clever control circuit , this what increases efficiency and epc value. So if you have warm spell in winter , it doesn't charge up so much night and saves electric .

Best speak to epc professional , not energy company. Don't expect the council to know anything either. When you manage to get access for epc , meet the assessor and I am sure he will be most helpful in how to get minimum required value.

Just had look at some of my old epc s before i upgraded properties and you might struggle to get required rating just by upgrading heaters and fitting LED lights, but epc assessor will have better idea. Having double glazing ( or secondary glazing ) or insulating your solid brick walls will definitely get you E or better.

Remember there is talk of moving goal posts to D by 2025 (not sure if this is confirmed yet).
To avoid doing the job twice , I have upgraded to epc value of C each time I have renovated a property.... Read More

landlord andrew

12:27 PM, 27th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Trying to raise my EPC rating as tenants moving out?

Reply to the comment left by mary at 27/03/2019 - 11:20
Hi Mary
Not heard anything about economy 7 being phased out . I would have thought whatever fuel source they use , they would like to even out high demand during the day and low demand at night.

My epc man says modern storage heaters will improve epc values. I have dimplex duo in some properties ( latest thing 10 years ago ) , but you get better epc value with dimplex quantum.

Can you tell us more about the property so I can better advise easiest and cheapest improvements to make ? Is it solid or cavity wall ? Is it double or single glazed ? Is water heated in a tank on economy 7 ? What lighting do you have, LED would help epc ? Is there another flat above yours , or flat roof or loft ? If it is a loft , is it insulated ?... Read More

landlord andrew

22:25 PM, 1st October 2018, About 3 years ago

landlord andrew

20:52 PM, 13th September 2018, About 3 years ago

HMO Licence - self contained flats

Hi Sharron
I forgot to mention you will also need a fixed wiring electrical test certificate for the communal area electrics.

I had a further thought about you problem finding someone who can give a definite answer to what spec you require.

To get exemption OR to meet licensing conditions , you will need a fire risk assessment. If you get fire risk assessment done by a reputable fire alarm company , then it is a very comprehensive document and will have a detailed list of all required actions . You can give this list to your contractor(s).

The shop beneath the flat might have a particular fire risk that needs addressing that wouldn't occur in flats without a shop and is not in my list above.

The councils aim is to improve fire safety upto modern standards , so by following requirements on fire risk assessment you will meet councils requirement.... Read More