16 May 2019
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY
Des Taylor here. I’ve just been working with a letting agent for a client and found the letting agent had a clear misunderstanding of what constitutes a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation).
HMO is formed “when two or more households* occupy a dwelling and the number of occupants is three or more, then a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is formed.
* Household for these purposes is “related to the family, by blood, sexual-union or domestic employment”.
If it needs a licence, that becomes mandatory at 5 occupants from two households.
If it requires a HMO licence for 3 or 4 occupants this is determined by the local authority Environmental health Licensing Department and may be so if they have Additional HMO Licensing in place. You should check.
The Statutory HMO status of three occupants from two households has been in place since the Housing Act 2004 and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 since April 2006.
This is not new and there is NO EXCUSE for Agents not knowing this. Yet we find almost daily that not only don’t they understand The Law, they advise clients that their property with 3 or 4 “sharers” is not an HMO. They are totally wrong and put their landlord clients at risk of massive penalty fines.
Please share this with those who may not know or understand, as this comes as a shock to many self managing landlords and the civil penalties imposed are enormous – often £12,000 or more.