Fire alarms and National standards

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Hi, I have 2 properties currently which i am setting up for letting out as HMO's. they are virtually identical with loft conversions and 6 let-able rooms.(shared kitchen no cooking in rooms). One I had inspected by Spelthorne council who assessed the house and advised on the suitability concerning my intentions for it. (letting it to professional and responsible workers) they deemed that suitable fire protection would be fire doors, mains linked fire detection(cat D), emergency lighting, fire blanket in kitchen. they said it is a low risk HMO. I don't need extinguishers etc.
Now the other property furnished to similar standards and although only one mile away falls in Hounslow borough. I contacted them and have had them also come to inspect. the view of them is that although they could see it is being managed to a high standard(he even commented on it being the cleanest HMO he had ever seen) he stated that it needs the mains linked fire alarms upgrading to a cat A fire alarm panel with sounders on each floor, call points, linked alarms including one in the under-stair cupboard. the cupboard needs additional fireproofing and it also needs fire extinguishers on all 3 levels and fire exit signs. What I want to know is Can this local authority force me to fit over the top fire protection equipment when surely they should be assessing this as low risk like the neighboring council. the officer assessing said that he has to go by the Lacors guide but for what I could see rather than using as a guide (which it clearly says it is in it and also that it should be a case by case basis. They are taking it to be legislative regulations which need to be strictly followed. I tried to express that this was more like a shared house than a bedsit HMO with cooking facilities(as the way Spelthorne have assessed it). The reply was no. It is a bedsit HMO as all the doors have locks and tenants have separate TA's. I am all for ensuring my tenants are safe but this seems ridiculously heavy handed. What I see is that there should be a national standard for all like properties. Does anyone reading have HMO's in Hounslow? and what alarms have you had to fit? and I also wonder how you could ever be prosecuted if you are to the national HMO standards then how could a single borough over rule those standards? seems a bit nonsensical?
29/09/2015 01:47

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