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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19443
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Do I have to replace windows with fire exit windows in an existing

Resolved Question:

Do I have to replace windows with fire exit windows in an existing and rented out house (2 upstairs bedrooms)? Thanks.
Submitted: 9 months ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

I would like to know if I am legally required to replace the two bedroom (both?) windows upstairs with fire exit windows and if I do indeed need fans and automatic doors in a bathroom so it doesn't spoil food in the kitchen next door. The house is mid terrace, over 100yrs old, in good condition, been rented out for about 5 years with two bedrooms to two people (hence not HMO). Building regs all seem to apply to new builds. Could you specify what exactly you need more info on please as I seem to be repeating myself. Thanks.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.
Has the tenant raised this or the council?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

No, the council came round inspecting the place to make sure it wasn't an HMO and raised it to me afterwards. Gave me a three month deadline to get it sorted.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 9 months ago.


Unless these are replacement windows, installed
after 1 April 2002, they do not have to be opening.

The same applies to the bathroom, it does not
have to have ventilation unless it was recently upgraded (within the last 10
years).



If it's a house in multiple occupation, the
situation is different and the local authority can dictate.



This appears not to be the case.



I think what the local authority have done with
you is dressed up what are actually "advisory" matters, as mandatory matters.



 



My suggestion would be to write back to the
Council and asked them to point out which section of which act or which
regulation you are needed to comply with in order to do this work. You want to
check the regulation to make sure that it is done satisfactorily!



I would see what they come back with before I do
anything because based upon the facts that you have given me, you are under no
obligation to do this work.



However I will tell you that as he does now been
brought to your attention, if you do not change the windows, and someone gets
injured or killed in a fire you could face jail for criminal negligence.



In a slightly different way, with the ventilation
and the lack of, if this leads to the formation of any kind of mould or fungus
and anyone has asthma or breathing difficulties or any other problems as a
result, you can now be held negligent once again, because the issue has been
raised with you and you have chosen to ignore it.



Choice therefore is yours as to whether you
ignore this or do the work.



Remember, I can only answer based upon the facts
you give me.



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further or answer any specific queries?



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Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19443
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thanks a lot for your advice, the bathroom won't be a source of mould etc as it does actually have a window that opens. I think a fire exit upstairs is a reasonable idea but not to the specifications the council ask for...


Thanks again, helps me proceed and see more sense in the issue.


Jana.

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