Does my Property need an HMO Licence? D

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Does my Property need an HMO or other Licence?

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5 or more Occupants 

If there are five or more people living in your property and just one of those people is not related* to the others then YES YOU DO!

So, wherever your property is in England, if you have five or more people (one or more of whom is not related) then you NEED a Mandatory HMO LICENCE).

You also are required under the Housing Act 2004 to comply fully with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

(*This is not the legal definition by the way – because like most legislation that’s not easy to understand.  Hopefully, this is in plain English that makes sense.)

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3 or 4 Occupants 

If you have three or four occupants where one (or more) is not related, then your property is legally an HMO.

With three or four people,  your property does not need a Mandatory HMO Licence.

However,  IT MAY STILL NEED A LICENCE.

Many Councils have introduced what is called an “Additional HMO Licensing” scheme.  These schemes vary from Council to Council and even between different streets in a Council’s area. 

So, even if your property has three or four occupants you MUST CHECK to find out if it needs an “ADDITIONAL HMO LICENCE”.

You also are required under the Housing Act 2004 to comply fully with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

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1 to 4 Occupants

AND… just in case that’s not enough – in some areas, a property let to one to four occupants may not need any form of HMO Licence, but it MAY still need A SELECTIVE LICENCE.

A Selective Licence applies to every rental property (that is not a licensable HMO) in specific areas defined by the local Council.

Not all Councils operate Selective Licensing areas – yet.  But the number of Councils doing so is increasing.

If your property is legally an HMO then, regardless of whether it needs any sort of licence, it is a criminal offence if you do not fully comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (2006). 

Just to be clear: These Regulations kick-in at three occupants where one or more is not related.

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Purpose Built Flats

There is an important exemption  to be aware of. The government have excluded purpose built self-contained flats within a block comprising three or more self-contained flats from the mandatory HMO licensing scheme.

HOWEVER: These purpose built flats could also still be licensable if your council has introduced an additional or selective licensing scheme in the local area.

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Converted Flats 

Any building, or even part of a building on top of commercial, that was converted into flats (in the past or even recently) without proper Building Regulations sign-off is most probably what is known as a “Section 257 HMO”.  Although the term HMO is used it’s completely different to what you would normally think of as an HMO*.

It’s horrendously complicated to work out what is and what is not a Section 257 – so if you’re not 100% sure contact us for advice.

Even many councils are confused as to what is and what is not a Section 257 HMO!

Some buildings regularly come in and out of being Section 257 HMO’s depending on which flats in the block are rented out or owner occupied.

In some council areas, where they have a Additional Licensing scheme, Section 257 HMOs need to be licensed. But not all Additional Licensing schemes include Section 257 HMOs.

Be aware also that all Section 257 HMOs must comply with The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 under which the council can issue multiple £30,000 fines.

(*This is not the legal definition by the way – because like most legislation that’s not easy to understand.  Hopefully, this is in plain English that makes sense.)

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Success Stories

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HMO Advice

Whether you’re planning a new HMO, renovating an existing HMO or simply want to ensure your current HMOs are fully compliant with the legislation and regulations you need professional HMO advice.

Your team of experienced landlords and developers here are specialists in HHSRS, Fire Risk Assessment, Planning, Refurbishment and Development are just a phone call away.

To give you HMO advice in London, the North, the Midlands and in fact the whole of England and Wales.

And these experts are on standby to help you whenever you need advice.

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HMO Services

If you need HMO Services in London, throughout England and Wales the specialists here at Landlord Licensing & Defence can assist you.

Here, you have access to a full range of HMO services including HMO Design, HMO planning permission, HMO Compliance, HHSRS, Fire Design, Fire Risk Assessment.

As well as HMO Amenity Standards Compliance, HMO Licensing Advice, HMO Licence Application Service, HMO Property Licensing and HMO Licence Condition Representations.

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HMO Design

Most landlords and their architects design HMOs without reference to the local HMO Amenity Standards.

They then apply for an HMO Licence only to find that the shiny new and expensively converted HMO is non-compliant on HHSRS or HMO Management Regulations.

In many cases the landlord only finds out when the council visits two years after the licence application and issues massive fines for non-compliance. Often £30,000 or even more.

Involving Certified HHSRS and fire risk assessors at the design stage and during the works can ensure that you get all of these design and compliance matters (which are over and above building regulations) right from the outset.

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