Toilet Amenities for HMO licence

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I have just had a second license and HHSRS inspection by Sheffield's Private Housing Sector relating to my 5 bed HMO. The house used to be a lovely town house, it's on 3 floors with the bathroom and five bedrooms on the first and second floors, the ground floor has a kitchen, large dining room and separate living room. There is an open staircase that runs from the dining room to the first floor. There are smoke detectors in every room and on each staircase and landing, also a heat detector in the kitchen.

Following the initial inspection a year or so ago by a different inspector, we have followed his recommendations and constructed a fire wall with fire door between the entrance and kitchen to separate the kitchen completely to minimise the fire risk. This has made the entrance seem very dark cramped with the need for lighting at all times. All bedroom doors are now fire doors with closers making the hallways and stairways very dark. One of the first floor bedroom windows has also had to be changed to make a 'fire escape window.

The second inspector has now asked that the bathroom be split so that the toilet can be accessed separately to the rest of the bathroom or alternatively I need to install a separate toilet and whb. To split the bathroom is impossible even if the layout is reconfigured, there is just no way to access a separate toilet from the corridor. To install an additional toilet, would mean a reduction in size of the only feasible bedroom and the installation of a Saniflo unit. From recent experience, where I have installed a Saniflo toilet to comply with this regulation, these cause a tremendous amount of problems when they go wrong and I'm sure I don't need to elaborate. I asked the inspector what he recommended, however he said he didn't have an answer and that it would be up to me to come up with a solution. When I asked what would happen if there was no reasonable solution he suggested that I just rent to four!

Has anyone else had a similar experience with splitting bathrooms or providing extra facilities? I would be grateful for any help or suggestions.

17/08/2012 00:00

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