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Every week our specialists will answer YOUR questions on the property issues that affect you. Contact us at asktheexpert@

Q I need another bedroom in my house and the loft seems to be the ideal place. Can you tell me if I can convert it?

A There are a few things you need to ensure before being able to convert your loft into a habitable room.

Firstly, the height you have in the loft will need to achieve a minimum of 2m headroom (fl oor to ceiling height) at the top of the new staircase.

Secondly, can you fit a single bed, a wardrobe, and a chest of drawers within the room and maintain at least 1.5m of headroom over these items?

Thirdly, what is the structure of the loft like? You may have to change the roof trusses and install steelwork to support the weight that a new bedroom fl oor creates.

Finally, can you incorporate a new staircase within your existing layout without sacrificing too much space or losing a bedroom completely?

If you think you can convert the loft, then contact an architect who will be more than happy to look at what you can achieve and begin the process for you.

Q We are thinking about renting out our fourbedroom house and have been told we need a licence. Is this true?

A You need to apply for an HMO Licence (House in Multiple Occupancy).

This licence is a means for local authorities to regulate and control properties that are occupied by a certain number of unrelated people. If you rent to three or more people, and these people are not related to each other, you will need a licence.

You are required to draw up a set of plans showing the layout of the property, noting certain criteria - fire fighting equipment, emergency escape lighting etc.

James Mullen, Chartered Architect, 41 Langhaul Road, Glasgow. Tel 0141 892 0795.


JAMES MULLEN Chartered archicitect
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 12, 2010
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