Scope of Environmental Health – to incetivise tenants ??Make Text Bigger
I would like to tap the experience and expertise of the community with regards to my local Environmental Health department.
Some history ….. I have a large building which is an HMO. I applied for a licence and the council came down and went through the building. The short version is that they said some of the rooms were too small and that I needed to convert one of the rooms in to a kitchen and some other works which I agreed to and had done.
The purpose of the works were to provide extra kitchen facilities for the tenants and stop them from cooking in their rooms. Whilst I agreed to carry out the work (at the loss of one room’s income) I did also say that this would not work, and that the kitchen would not be used. However I did not make a fuss about it and got on with the work.
When they came to re-inspect the work done, they also went around the rooms and lo and behold discovered that the tenants were still doing the same thing with their own equipment and were not using the newly built kitchen.
They have now said that all the changes I have done “do not incentivise the tenants enough to use the new kitchen facilities” and have instructed me to carry out and whole host of other works running in to the 000’s so that the tenants will start to use the new kitchen.
Apart from the ludicrous nature of these requests (removing cupboards etc) how on earth can they hold me responsible for the fact that the tenants are not doing what they want them to do. I want to fight these further requests on the grounds of:
- I can not be held liable for tenants not doing what the council wants (are car manufacturers told to limit speeds of cars to 70 mph to stop people speeding)
- The new changes have nothing to do with providing adequate facilities to meet their Licencing requirements as it was agreed (and I have it in writing) that doing the first lot of changes would meet their requirements.
- Do Environmental Health have the remit to force a landlord to do something in order to make the tenants do something. Surely they should be taking the matter up with the tenants and writing to them instead.
- Where does it say in the Licensing guidelines about tenants actually using facilities provided by the landlords. Surely it is just our responsibility as landlords to provide them in good working order (which they all are).
- There are many things that tenants should do but don’t. I provide sinks to wash dishes in but most are left for days/weeks. Tenants shouldn’t smoke in their rooms etc …… how can landlords be held liable for the actions of tenants ?
I would like to hear the experience of others and also what people did to dismiss these silly requests. I am prepared to go to the tribunal to fight this and any help/ideas from everyone here would be really welcome !
Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.