/ Wood burning stove in a rental property

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Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
I've been helping a friend look at houses for rent and they've found one that they like and will hopefully be signing the lease for soon.

I noticed that the property had a wood burning stove which is all very nice, but a slight concern I had was that it was carpeted right up to the base of the wall where the stove was. They've asked the letting agent whether they'll put a hearth in as they're concerned that any soot or ash that escapes from the stove while it's being cleaned may mark the carpet. They're also a bit worried that any embers that fall out could be a safety risk. Chances are the worst that'll happen is it'll singe the carpet but thats not great if you're expecting to get a deposit back after a few years!

The letting agent/landlord have said that they won't put anything in as they don't want to change any of the decor but they're happy for them to put a rug in front of it or even plonk a slab of marble down in front of it.

Are the landlords duty bound to do anything about this or is it a fuss about nothing?
fxceltic on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: i'd have thought building regs would insist on something, but as its retrospective then perhaps not
Iain Downie - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S:

I'd have to dig it out, but there is a good guide online somewhere to the Health & Safety responsibilities of a landlord (we had issues with a previous one). The basics were that it is their responsibility to ensure that the property is safe. If you can show that the burner wouldn't meet current regs, then they would be duty bound to sort it.

In reality, if your friend kicks up a fuss now, then they aren't likely to be offered tenancy. They could always ignore it now, and kick up a fuss when there is a contract. But then the easiest option would be for the landlord to release them early from it, and find someone who won't kick up a fuss.

That probably doesn't help...

Iain
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

It's a new build and the stove was part of the design. Just figured the sensible thing would have been to bung a stove in. Marble hearths aren't too expensive either, worst comes to the worst it might be a case of forking out for one anyway and sorting it out with the landlord at a later date.
highclimber - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: This gives you the current regs on hearths
http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/stove-hearth-size.html
Toby_W on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: We had a woodburner put in a year or two ago and you can't have carpet or even a wood floor up to the front of the stove. Check out the regs.

Cheers

Toby
highclimber - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to highclimber: Also, there HAS to be a CO detector in the same room as the appliance
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Many thanks for that. Does it make any difference if it's built in rather than free standing?
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

That's it, slightly smaller than that if memory serves correctly but pretty much bang on.
In reply to Toby S: There is a carpet pic way down the page.

fxceltic on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> It's a new build and the stove was part of the design. Just figured the sensible thing would have been to bung a stove in. Marble hearths aren't too expensive either, worst comes to the worst it might be a case of forking out for one anyway and sorting it out with the landlord at a later date.

he should have had something put in then. but as someone else says if you kick off now he simply wont rent to you, unless you threaten to report him?
highclimber - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> Many thanks for that. Does it make any difference if it's built in rather than free standing?

"The stove must sit on a hearth of non-combustible material extending a minimum of 150mm (6") out from the stove at the sides and 300mm (12") in front."

In reply to Toby S: See last paragraph http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/saey-insert-stove-installation-instructions.html

Still need 200mm distance from nearest combustible. Although pics don't show it still says 300mm heath required if not bigger if the burner is a good way off floor.

In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to Toby S)
> [...]
>
> "The stove must sit on a hearth of non-combustible material extending a minimum of 150mm (6") out from the stove at the sides and 300mm (12") in front."

For these insert burners - they are mounted on non-combustibles within the chimney already.
highclimber - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat: but the hearth still needs to extend beyond the door 300mm forwards and at least 150mm to the side.
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to highclimber:

So at the very least it needs to be a bare wood floor as in the pictures or a proper hearth?
highclimber - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: as far as I am aware it needs to be non-combustable. The hearth doesn't actually need to be raised and you could argue that a tiled floor doesn't need a hearth though I'd have to just check the regs on that as I think the hearth needs to be obvious but not necessarily raised. Either way it's not your responsibility to make sure it's legal but it does help to know this stuff when looking at flats as it can tell you a lot about the LL!
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Thanks, appreciate your help with that. I'll pass it on.
Philip on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S:

You're right to be concerned. I have 16 inches in front of mine and dirt still gets on the rug. Embers can spit out a good 2 or 3 feet.

Make sure you also get the landlord to get it swept first - a good sweep will identify and problems.
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M0nkey - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: you could just put an auld rug down. Doesn't sound like a big deal.
Toby S - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to M0nkey:

I'm not saying it is, just checking the H&S aspects of it. Last thing they need is the landlord saying they'll keep some of their deposit when it comes to moving out time.
Baron Weasel - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S: I'd be a bit concerned if it is a new installation, as it sounds as though it has not been instlled by a HETAS qualified person and this may not be the only non-compliant aspect of its installation.

BW
MHutch - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toby S:

I'd be very surprised if it is HETAS installed or has passed building regs. If they've screwed that up, what else is substandard about the installation? Definitely would get a sweep in to check it out.

Part J of the building regs is your friend's friend - has all the relevant information.

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