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Victorian house fire compliance to current building regs

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by neilmm, 1 Oct 2013.

  1. neilmm

    neilmm

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    My daughter rents a modernised Victorian house. "Improvements" include a redesigned ground floor fireplace, brand new wood burning fire & fitted carpet running directly below the fireplace opening and which is now singed.

    I told her the fire installation doesn't comply with current UK Building Regs in that there should be no combustible surface within 300 mm of the front (150 mm sides) of the fire opening, and that there should be a raised hearth. She reported it to the letting agent who promptly told her Building Regs are not retrospective! Whilst I understand this could be the case for the "original" Victorian design (open fire/tiled floor) I would have thought that the moment a modification is made (namely; removing the original fireplace, modifying the opening & flue, installing a new wood burning fire, and fitting of a carpet) it would have to be in accordance with CURRENT building regulations. Can anybody advise and (assuming I'm correct) let me know which governing body it should be reported to if the letting agent or landlord is unwilling to rectify.
     
  2. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    Installation of a wood-burning stove (I assume you mean this is a stove) requires notification to Building Control and must conform to building regulations. The Building Control department of your local authority is the body responsible for enforcing this, so I would report it to them. Do you know how long ago the stove was installed?

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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  3. neilmm

    neilmm

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    Thanks for the reply. Yes it's a cast iron stove with a glass fronted door. Not sure when it was installed but I'd guess 2012 as it was brand new UNUSED when she moved in last November (the owner had used it only to burn documents & paper). The owner left a small irregular shaped piece of paving stone as a 'makeshift hearth' to use when stoking / emptying the fire. The stone does NOT cover the 300 mm & 150 mm envelope, and even if it did I believe would not comply as it is a temporary solution and does not have the obligatory 50 mm air gap between the stone and carpet.
     
  4. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    If it was installed within the last 12 months then see here:

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/responsibilities/buildingregulations/failure

    It doesn't sound as if there is any way it could meet the regulations.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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  5. neilmm

    neilmm

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    Thanks Richard (oops dunno where I got Graham from).

    If anyone else has any input I have some photo's of the installation
     
  6. jeds

    jeds

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    I agree with Graham, Richard and Gerald. New fitted stoves of any description using the house flue should comply with building regulations.
     
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  7. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    I agree with all three of me, too :confused:
     
  8. neilmm

    neilmm

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    Thanks all 4 of you !

    If reported to the local authority what usually happens next?

    Can the landlord be forced to install a hearth or make it unusable (ie remove the stove)
     
  9. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    I imagine the first step would be advice, and the second an enforcement notice.

    I'm sure there must be fire regulations applicable to rented property that would cover this as well.

    Cheers
    Richard/Graham/Gerald
     
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  10. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    In the interests of landlord/tenant relations I would suggest the letting agent is formally written to again, pointing out that it does not comply with Building Regulations and what are they going to do about it. I appreciate this may result in nothing happening at all but getting BC/Environmental Health involved at the off will do nothing for relations.
     
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  11. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    That's fair enough- I was just being mindful of the time limit for a Section 36 enforcement.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
  12. neilmm

    neilmm

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    I've advised her to email the agent again (their previous response was very swift) and a friendly email to the owner.
     
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