Do you know whether your property is an HMO?

By SamiiB-P
In News
Feb 1st, 2017
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The very complicated world of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) often reveals that the most law-abiding landlords are totally unaware that their property falls under the HMO umbrella.

These landlords are risking huge fines and possible rent re-payments if they are running an HMO, even if they don’t realise.

North Somerset Council have kindly provided us with the following breakdown of what the term ‘HMO’ encompasses:

Definition of a House in Multiple Occupation

Housing Act 2004 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/part/7/crossheading/meaning-of-house-in-multiple-occupation

It will be an HMO if it is one of the following:

  • A shared house lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • A converted building where not all of the units are self-contained
  • An individual flat lived in by people who belong to more than one family* and who share one or more facilities**
  • A building of self-contained flats that do not meet 1991 Building Regulation standards

Exemptions:

  • If it is occupied by only two people
  • If it is occupied by the owner (and their family if any) and one or two lodgers
  • If it is occupied by a religious community
  • If the occupiers have their main residence elsewhere***
  • If none of the occupiers are required to pay rent or give other consideration in respect of the living accommodation
  • If the owner or manager is a public body
  • If the owner or manager is an educational institution
  • A building of self-contained flats if two thirds or more of the flats are owner-occupied
  • If the property is part of a guest house or hotel (unless an ‘HMO Declaration’ is made)

*Family – husband, wife, co-habitee, child, step-child, foster-child, grandchild, parent, step-parent, foster-parent, grandparent, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin.

**Facilities – basic amenities: wc; wash hand basin, shower, bath; cooking facilities.

***Accommodation used by full-time students while they are studying is taken to be their main residence.

Note: this is a summary only, if in any doubt contact your local council.

Four HMO definition flow charts which provide more detailed information are available here: http://www.privatehousinginformation.co.uk/site/86.asp

What types of properties need to licence?

Mandatory Licensing of HMOs

  • is rented to five or more unrelated people
  • 2 or more households
  • is at least three storeys high
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Additional Licensing of HMOs

Vary locally, council decides if to introduce a scheme, evidence base and legislative process to follow.

In North Somerset – we have 1 scheme in part of central WSM – applies to ALL HMOs in that area.  Follow this link for more information: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/housing/private-landlords/hmo-licences/houses-in-multiple-occupation-licence/

Selective Licensing Schemes

Applies to all rented properties in a defined area, schemes vary across the country, council decides if to introduce a scheme, evidence base and legislative process to follow.

HMO and other residential property reforms – consultation paper

Closing date for responses 13/12/16 – implementation expected October 2017

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/houses-in-multiple-occupation-and-residential-property-licensing-reforms

Proposals to:

  • remove ‘storey’ rule from mandatory licensing requirements
  • include flats which are occupied by five persons or more, in households of two or more, if the flat: is in a converted building; or in certain circumstances is in a building where part of the building is used for commercial or other non-residential purposes.
  • Minimum room sizes in licensed HMOs – 6.52 sq. m for one person, 10.23 sq. m for two persons

Consultation paper – Proposed banning order offences under the Housing and Planning Act 2016

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/576799/161212_consultation_on_banning_order_offences.pdf

 

About "" Has 14 Posts

Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk . Any queries email me at: samii.boydprice@nlceuk.co.uk / samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994 (option 6).

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