to say no to my tenant's request?

(115 Posts)
akdmummy Mon 20-Jun-16 01:31:39

I let out a 2 bed house. It also has a loft conversion that doesn't comply to building regs. Now the tenant has said that they want to use it as a 3rd bedroom and will have to leave if they can't use it as a bedroom.

I am uncomfortable with allowing the space to be used as a bedroom given potential insurance and safety issues. WIBU to say no, therefore effectively making the tenant move out or am I being too cautious - (the conversion has been there for a long time and has been used by previous owners as a bedroom in the past)?

AppleMagic Mon 20-Jun-16 01:33:52

I would say no too.

blondieblondie Mon 20-Jun-16 01:36:27

YANBU. I don't think that's the kind of thing you be too cautious about as a landlord. It's unfortunate for them, but they shouldn't be putting you in that position.

ErNope Mon 20-Jun-16 01:36:56

If you advertised/offered the property with the loft conversion YABVU.
If not YANBU.

akdmummy Mon 20-Jun-16 01:41:05

We didn't own it when the tenants moved in but I know it was advertised as a 2 bed both when it was rented to them and on the sales particulars to us. I understand that the previous tenant used it as a bedroom so I guess the current tenant has made the assumption that it is ok to use as a bedroom.

OfficiallyUnofficial Mon 20-Jun-16 01:44:58

If there was worst case scenario a fire and injuries/death, you could be held liable? I wouldn't risk it.

Vickyyyy Mon 20-Jun-16 01:45:19

If you don't want it to be used as a bedroom, your call.

I would bet they don't move out too. Seems they are just trying a bit of blackmail to see if it works. If they do move out, it doesn't sound like you would be massively bothered so who cares

Do you know what it would take to get it up to standard to get passed off? Maybe a compromise would be if they were willing to put up with building work being done, then adjusting the rent to reflect the extra bedroom.

If they are not willing to do that, or you can't afford the outlay then continue to say no.

Who do they want to put up there? A child- who someone needs to be looking out for?

It might seem mean on the surface but you're right to prioritise safety; it's slum landlords who prefer the advantage of extra rooms over safe building works.

akdmummy Mon 20-Jun-16 02:01:59

I don't know what it would need to get it up to standard, but as a minimum insulation, checking the floor joists, roof struts and putting in a fire door I would imagine. They want to put 2 kids up there as they are due another baby and want to use the bedroom the kids are currently in for a nursery.

Your suggestion is an option and I will contact the surveyor who did the report when we bought it to see what he thinks.

Thanks all for your input.

SoThatHappened Mon 20-Jun-16 02:21:36

You are well aware that tenants may have used this as a bedroom without asking you before?

Why on earth would you let a home with a substandard conversion? You could surely be liable if tenants used it and a roof fell in on them, even if they knew they are not supposed to use it?

Out2pasture Mon 20-Jun-16 02:35:08

here in Canada for a room to be considered a "bedroom" certain sized windows need to be in place for fire safety. a room can be advertised as a study, craft room etc. just not as a "bedroom". and as a homeowner yes I suppose you could use it yourself but the answer to the tenant would need to be no.

akdmummy Mon 20-Jun-16 02:37:43

We have only owned the place for a couple of months. The tenants were already there (have been there for about 8 months) and have been using the space for storage up to now.

It was only on Saturday when my husband went to the house to start making his way through the jobs that we identified that needed to be done through the buying process that the tenant mentioned that he was planning on using the space as a bedroom. That set alarm bells ringing for us and we have done some research which has got me to the point of saying no to them even if that means that they have to move out to get the space they need. I have asked the question on here to make sure that IANBU to say no to him.

llhj Mon 20-Jun-16 04:04:01

You sound like a responsible owner and are doing the right thing.
Why people are assuming you're not is baffling.
Contact them in writing again with clear stipulations. Give them notice if they infringe. They can't dictate usage to you. Loads of houses have loft spaces like that. There's nothing illegal etc and the house couldn't be sold as 3 bedrooms.

NervousRider Mon 20-Jun-16 04:09:57

What is stopping them doing it without your permission?

You can say no and put that in writing formally stating the reasons why, but if they choose to do so anyway...

It sounds like it might be worth it then, especially as once kosher it could be let at three bedroom rates. Even if not to these tenants, but when you can afford the outlay.

Out2pasture Mon 20-Jun-16 04:39:56

nervous I presume that now that the owner knows of the intention then should there be a fire they could be held liable.

VioletBam Mon 20-Jun-16 04:50:20

SoThatHappened she never said it was HER who let tenants use it! She was quite clear in that the property has been let by the previous owners...who are probably the ones who added the conversion. I expect it was they who allowed tenants to use it as a bedroom.

CrushedNinjas Mon 20-Jun-16 04:55:18

NervousRider if the tenants are told 'No' and go ahead anyway, they'd be in breach of the tenancy agreement and could be evicted.

LellyMcKelly Mon 20-Jun-16 05:01:38

If you do, make sure it's legal, and that the rent reflects the fact that it's a 3 bedroom, not 2.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Mon 20-Jun-16 05:06:15

if the tenants are told 'No' and go ahead anyway, they'd be in breach of the tenancy agreement and could be evicted

Only if the tenancy agreement specifies no use of the loft
And probably not even then

Janecc Mon 20-Jun-16 05:27:41

It is important you write to them (hand delivered/recorded delivery) specifying the space is not safe to be used as a bedroom and you therefore cannot give permission for the loft area to be used as such. Should they use it and the children come to harm, without explicit instructions, I very much imagine you would be liable.

Bishybishybarnabee Mon 20-Jun-16 06:11:35

* Why on earth would you let a home with a substandard conversion? You could surely be liable if tenants used it and a roof fell in on them, even if they knew they are not supposed to use it? *

I don't think there's any suggestion that it is substandard though? We looked into this when we considered converting our loft and found the building regs are different dependent on whether it is to be used as a bedroom or not. So it could be up to the standard to be used as storage, a study etc but not meet the requirements for a bedroom. From memory for us that would have meant extra things like additional head clearance from the stair, different insulation, different fire safety features etc.

OP, YANBU, if it was advertised as a 2 bed that's what it is, they WNBU to ask but if it can't be used as a bedroom then it shouldn't be.

pearlylum Mon 20-Jun-16 06:28:37

* It also has a loft conversion that doesn't comply to building regs*

You are neglectful.

lalaloopyhead Mon 20-Jun-16 06:44:37

How on earth is the OP neglectful?? I would say anything but.

It might be worth seeing what needs doing to comply with building regs to use as a third bedroom, but would tenants be happy with an increase in rent to reflect this? YANBU to say no.

insancerre Mon 20-Jun-16 06:45:12

How pearlylum?
Op didn't build the conversion
Its perfectly OK to have a loft conversion that doesn't comply to building regs for a bedroom.it just means it can go nly be he d for storage or occasional use such as a study
I would be worried about children sleeping in the loft and the risk of fire
I would look at the costs involved in getting the loft to comply so your tenants can use it
But, that would mean the rent would increase

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