Do you know whether your property is an HMO? | Discuss

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Do you know whether your property is an HMO?
11:09 am
News @ Tenant Referencing

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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

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


  • 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.privatehousinginfor.....ite/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:

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

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

Related topics:

Rogue landlord fined £7,000 for not having an HMO licence

New proposals would bring about 174,000 more HMO properties into licensing

More landlords complete new accreditation scheme in North Somerset

5:30 pm
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This will be the most widely flouted piece of legislation ever!!

Very few LL with sharers in purpose built properties will pay for a license fee

I won't be!!

How will councils find out

They can't even find which properties are occupied by more than 1 person for single person council tax discount.

It will be very interesting what the outcome of the the Housing Act are.

I reckon it will result in even more homeless as LL have to boot out tenants to prevent the property becoming an HMO.

There will be big problems caused by the minimum room sizing.

Potentially many LL will be left with unviable properties

The Housing Act is going to cause massive problems for tenants and LL alike

11:06 am
David Price
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Paul the whole housing legislation is a mess.  I fail to see what difference it makes to health and safety issues if a group of unrelated people share as opposed to a family.  Three siblings sharing is OK three friends sharing makes it an HMO, this defies logic.

The solution may be to require all property (including owner occupied) to be of the same standard, a solution which would not be popular with OO's but would at least be fair.

9:50 pm
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Hi David and Paul

Can i ask.

I know someone who has just paid for a room only in London  .

We all know how hard it is to find accomodation in London. Not because its scarce , but because it takes all day to get through the traffic and its expensive rent

Its a new (very nice ) 4 bed flat which is rented out as rooms.  He discovered has no locks on the doors. Shared kitchen and bathroom. Oh and no fire extinguishers  

They made him pay up front without a viewing. 6 weeks deposit , administration fee and one months rent .

I have just looked through the original advert and its says no deposit.

I have just been through his contract which they made him sign for on his phone without reading it first

It has a section 21 attached with his name on it ?

Its a 7 month contract , why 7 months ?

The advert said he has parking for his car and when he got in touch with the management company they said there was definately no parking. 500 flats with an allocation (all allocated) of 300 parking spaces

There is no parking for miles.  He needs his car

He has asked them to show him a different room in a different area with parking.

This time he wants to see it.

They are charging him £100 admin fee for relocation when he has already paid a fee and another fee for admin

I do not run my HMO's like that, so is this the normal?

10:34 pm
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Just been reading the legislation

Silly question I know

Does this apply to councils that do not require  licensing? 


Where has the edit button gone 🙂

Dont answer that: I just found it

6:48 am
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Sounds very peculiar!

Not sure if I'd sign up for a tenancy without viewing

There are no requirements to have locks on doors if on a joint tenancy

But if renting out rooms with no live in LL then I would expect locks on doors.

The property isn't an HMO unless in a special licensing area

No such thing as a 7 month tenancy

Sign up for 6 months and then continue onto a CPT or SPT.

I would contact the local council and pose these queries.

Seems a very strange way for this LL to behave

Can't quite get what he is attempting to achieve with such a strange management methodology.

No matter how desperate for accommodation it isn't worth being pushed into a forced situation.

It is no longer possible to issue a S21 at tenancy commencement

It is scrap paper!

All these fees seem excessive

But not the debt etc

I now require 2 months rent as a deposit and 1 months rent in advance

But I don't charge all these fees

I will expect a tenant prospect to obtain their LRS TRP

Hopefully to qualify for RGI which I might charge the tenant for though I probably wouldn't. So it would cost the tenant £40 plus the deposit admin fee.

I currently have a flat 45 mins train journey from Liverpool St

£1275pcm exclusive

Two bed, two bath with 1 parking space underground

Lodgers permitted

4 mins walk to stn

Very rarely will there be assigned parking spaces in London.

Even I had to pay £7000 for each of my 4 spaces as I am in the town centre

12:10 pm
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The tenant gave me the info on his contract from a letting agent in London.

I was in London and thought i would have a look see at the office.

 I spoke to one new tenant as he was leaving and exactly the same had happened to him. Money first. No viewing. Signed the contract on his mobile. They give you the keys and postcode address and you make your own way there.

The tenancy was four strange people in one 4 bed flat with no locks.

I can understand why the letting industry here gets such a bad press.

As a landlord i would never ever use an agency like that.

Unless..... as a landlord i made a lot of money from them. WinkSmile But i cannot see all the admin and other charges  that they were making going to the landlord .

I still like to do it my way .

7:44 pm
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PaulBarrett said



Parking spaces for sale in London  .Some of them are going for £50K !!

I like to have RGI as well.

I just read a story about another landlords letting agents and his experience with them.

Best to avoid and do your own referencing via LRS

1:47 pm
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If admin want to move this item please do so. I lost the original LRS thread where i could have lodged this question.

I have a very important question and do not know where to ask it.  Its bugging me and i don't know how to get attention to its answer and a discussion out on the internet  

I have just been reading the governments own site where they have a Model AST form for landlords to use . It was old, printed 2016 . But and this is a very important BUT .....

On the form it asks the tenant to sign to confirm that this rental is their main home and they do not have a main home elsewhere .  Why is this question on the form????

Quote from Government site :

When shouldn't this agreement be used?
The model agreement is intended for use when a private landlord and tenant enter
into a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy for a privately rented property in England
(this is the standard type of tenancy in the private rented sector). It should not be
used in the following situations:
 Social housing (local authority or housing association properties);
 Business lets (i.e. where the tenant is a company renting residential
accommodation for its employees);
 Holiday homes;
If none of the tenants will occupy the property as their only or principal home;
 Renting a room in shared premises, such as a bedsit (i.e. if the tenants are
not, together, renting the whole of a house or a self-contained apartment
within a block of flats);
 Lodger living in the landlord’s own home;
 Commercial properties (shops, offices, etc.).

I found a link from 2011 on a landlords law site that discusses

,  it seems there is still no answer. 

It also says that the form cannot be used for shared houses. If that is so why am i still having to use a normal AST contract /??- answer -because there isn't one for exclusively for HMO's 

I was in court recently and a landlord told me that the judge said that because he hadn't given an EPC to his tenant the S21 was not allowed. The judge said that the courts have to follow the law and so he could not allow the landlord to break the law. 

If thats the case (Mutual law requirements) why are landlords not given lawful contracts or know why a tenant should not rent if he has a main home elsewhere ? 

HMO's are filled with tenants who have main homes elsewhere . If a tenant has a main home elsewhere does that mean a S21 or other means of eviction does not apply to him ?  Do we just give them notice to quit?   They will NOT BE homeless because they have a home to go to. (They might be jobless) I thought that was the reason for such a long eviction notice through the law courts was to prevent homelessness. Answers on a post card please 

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