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Legal Considerations for Landlords Converting Lofts

Adding space to your investment property, in particular if this space involves increasing the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, can have a significantly positive effect on rental yield. However, for anyone carrying out works on a residential property that have a commercial nature – and that includes where a property is destined for the rental market – there are certain rules that must be adhered to because recently, legislation has changed.

The Construction Design and Management Regulations

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) were updated to CDM 2015 on 6th April 2015 and now anyone undertaking any building or renovation works that can be considered commercial in nature are subject to extensive new rules.   

CDM 2015 is aimed at putting health and safety at the top of the agenda on every building project. The key aspect that you’ll need to be aware of is that as the person ordering and paying for the works, you will be responsible for everything that happens on the project including health, safety and welfare: at all stages.   

Landlords will find all of this new territory because domestic renovation and building was not previously covered by the regulations. 

Your Duties Under the Regulations

Staying within the Regulations is of course essential. If something goes wrong then the authorities will come down on you heavily if you cannot show you have followed the stipulated guidelines.

Here is an at-a-glance list of a client’s duties under the Regulations:  

· You must appoint, in writing, a Principal Designer (PD) to oversee project design and planning. They will also be responsible for taking care of all the health and safety procedures and keeping a health and safety file.   

· You must appoint a Principal Contractor (PC) to undertake the building works and / or manage the onsite works.   

· You’ll need to make sure the PD has all the information they need for the PC to be able to write a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan and it will be down to you to review this plan and make sure health and safety is a featured aspect of the project and that there is enough budget available to cover it.   

· You will take full responsibility for ensuring both the PD and PC possess enough competence to undertake their roles.   

If you don’t appoint a PD or PC then you will automatically take on their responsibilities. In the majority of cases this will be far from desirable because the roles will call for a great deal of expertise and experience in the building sector. Instead, it is a far more astute move to do your homework and appoint trusted and renowned personnel to take on these roles.

You can read more about CDM 2015 on the Health and Safety Executive website. In the meantime, if you are looking to convert loft space in your rental property and are seeking a loft conversion company that understands and can comply with CDM 2015, get in touch with Bespoke Lofts. With almost three decades of experience and extensive expertise, you will be in the safest hands.   

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