Different types of homes need different types of attention. If you let a bungalow, block of flats or a 2 storey house, they all need to be licensed differently to ensure correct precautions are in place.
We’ve seen a bit in the news recently about landlords having trouble with basic fire safety requirements. It may seem a bit of a nuisance to go through the process of applying for the correct licence; however is it worth the consequences?
If your house has more than 3 different tenants in it who share a kitchen or bathroom it is classed as a HMO, therefore must be licensed as a HMO.
The Fire Brigade carry out free safety inspections on properties and create regulation purely for the safety of its inhabitants. To ignore these is a dangerous game to play, not only with the law but with people’s lives.
Because of the circumstances of the house, these checks must be carried out to ensure that the home is safe and adequate for the amount of people living in it.
Here are a few things you should double check-
- Have the fire brigade carry out a fire risk assessment.
- Create fire evacuation plans.
- Ensure all smoke alarms are working and in the right places.
- Large enough communal areas for the amount of tenants.
- Large enough bedrooms for the amount of tenants sharing.
- Valid and up to date safety certificates on electrical appliances.
- Clear escape routes.
- Install fire doors and emergency lighting.
This is so the local authorities can be sure the tenants are safe and comfortable in the property, to avoid people breaching legal overcrowding standards.
Landlords who rent out a HMO without the proper licence can be fined up to £20,000. It doesn’t seem worth the risk.
Not only could you face going to court and paying their fees and fines, you could also risk losing your claim with your property insurer. If your insurer was not made aware that your home was a HMO, or was aware and did not know that the safety requirements were not met, they will not cover you for fire damage.
The ultimate consequence for not obtaining the correct licence could be, £20,000 in debt, a fire damaged house with no help to rebuild from your insurer, and more importantly, putting your tenants lives at risk. This is why is it important to licence your let property.
We advise our customers to be honest and carry out the correct procedures with their houses, in order for us to provide them with the best service possible.
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