Landlords, Are You HMO Ready?

1st October 2018 saw the introduction of compulsory HMO Licensing to properties that previously did not require a licence.

What is HMO Licensing I hear you ask….. HMO or Houses of Multiple Occupation are houses with multiple tenants who are not related to one and other and form more than one household. So many shared properties will fall into this bracket.

The New HMO Rules

From 1st October all landlords (or managing agents) of properties which have five or more occupiers who form two or more households will need to have (or at the very least have applied for) a mandatory HMO license. Remember, there is no grace period and the penalties for not complying can be severe.

If you have a property with five or more occupiers who do not form just one household, regardless of the number of floors (or storeys) the property has, you need a HMO license issued by your local authority.

A common mis-conception is that if all tenants are on the one tenancy then the landlord does not need a HMO Licence. This is not the case – it is not affected by the number of tenancy agreements in place.

The penalties are stiff including a fine of up to £30,000, a First Tier Property Tribunal Rent Repayment Order and a Banning Order being placed on you, not to mention getting a criminal record and in severe cases your property can be seized!

Some landlords may need to make structural alterations or improvements to safety standards to comply with the new minimum room sizes in HMOs. This has been confirmed as follows:

  • Not less than 6.51 m2 for one person over 10 years;
  • Not less than 10.22 m2 for two persons over 10 years of age; and
  • Not less than 4.64 m2 for one person aged under 10 years.

In addition, as part of the licence application process properties will normally need a current gas safety certificate, a current EICR (Electrical Inspection Condition Report), PAT (portable appliance test), interlinked smoke detection, this will vary depending on house size and a floor plan showing room sizes.

And of course there are application fees involved.

If you would like to know more please do let me know.