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Are you legally allowed to rent out a house with an outside loo?

(15 Posts)
beachyhead Fri 16-Nov-12 12:17:56

Strange situation in that my dad has an interest in a house which has been rented out to a sitting tenant for a very small rent for two/three generations. The house is unmodernised and has an outside loo.

The last tenant has just died, and there is a possibility that her son wants to carry on the tenancy (it may pass automatically, although there is a question about how many times it has already passed). But, if a new tenancy is created, is it still legal to rent out such an unmodernised property? I'm not sure why he would want to stay but he's been there all his life, he's not working and is probably not able to...

It would not be possible to modernise it with the tenant still in it, as it would involve an extension and movement of the kitchen, back wall etc. Also the owners, of which my dad is one, are not allowed to develop under the terms of their ownership, so modernisation while the tenant is there wouldn't really work. Also if the house were modernised, the rent would rise disproportionally to this man's ability to pay....

So bottom line is, Dad would be happy to carry on renting it, at a small rent, but wants to make sure he is legally allowed to? If he's not, he has to end the tenancy and sell the house as a development opportunity to a developer (which is probably what the neighbours would want and may be in the best interests of the tenant in the long term).

Any property knowledge experts/lawyers etc out there?

beachyhead Fri 16-Nov-12 14:08:05


bureni Fri 16-Nov-12 14:15:32

Yes it is legal though the rents tend to be a lot less. I know of a couple of rows of 2 bedroom terraced houses which are rented, they have an outside loo and no bathrooms at all.

ClareMarriott Fri 16-Nov-12 16:39:24

Beachyhead Are you saying that in all the time the property has been rented out ( 2/3 generations ) that there has'nt been a bathroom and inside toilet ? If there has been, cannot the outside toilet just be knocked down?

beachyhead Fri 16-Nov-12 20:41:10

No, there hasn't been an inside loo at all, and the bath is behind a curtain in the kitchen. Never been modernised at all......

We would be happy to sell it or to do it up, but I think the tenant wants to stay and I wanted to see if it was legal to rent it out unmodernised..... I'm really not sure he should stay, but he has a choice...

PseudoBadger Fri 16-Nov-12 20:52:14

As an EHO I would have a real issue with it. If a tenant complained and we went in to assess it I imagine it would create several category one hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Housing Act 2004) and may be subject to a prohibition notice.

I was going to mention the HHSRS as well. It it is unmodernised and has no heating/hot water and sanitary facilities then those are cat 1 hazards, aren't they?

If he's not working and he claims benefit then you'll probably have a visit from the Rent Officer who might alert the LA, who will then serve the notices to either require you do do the work, or prohibit occupation of the property.

PseudoBadger Fri 16-Nov-12 21:29:11

Well just thinking about the outside wc and the weird bath arrangement, I'd expect possible the possible hazards to include Domestic Hygiene and Pests, Damp, Personal Hygiene, Excess Cold and possibly Lighting and Electrical Hazards. I can't score the hazards without seeing it obviously.
But just to give food for thought.... my employer considers any dwelling with single glazing throughout to have a Cat 1 Hazard for Excess Cold.....

PseudoBadger Fri 16-Nov-12 21:40:23

Here is a copy of the document I'm talking about.

crazyhead Fri 16-Nov-12 22:56:40

OMG pseudobadger, I fear my doer upper house covers most the hazards on that list sad

PseudoBadger Sat 17-Nov-12 07:18:14

Do you own it? Just don't report yourself to the council and you'll be fine wink

I did an appeal on an Emergency Prohibition Order a few weeks ago and one of the grounds was pests, the EHO had been out to inspect and seen rat droppings, taken photos of those and all the other hazards (collapsed floors/ceilings, rubbish accumulation etc) and it was only when he got back to the office and printed off the photos that he noticed a very large dead rat in one of the bathrooms together with the piece of wood the elderly occupant had used to whack it over the head with grin.

PseudoBadger Sun 18-Nov-12 09:51:20

I've stepped over a dessicated rat without realising what it was grin

Yes - they seem to blend into the flooring somehow confused grin

GrendelsMum Sun 18-Nov-12 12:36:57

My builders kindly saved a dessicated rat for me, because they thought I'd be interested in taking a look. (They save any interesting and historical findings for me as they go along, and I make more or less genuine interested noises.)

I may be a little eccentric, but why the heck would I want to look at a dessicated rat?

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