In the UK, HMO properties are not quite similar to co-housing communities, but it is more than normal for families here to come together and share common areas with other families. However, before you look for an HMO property, make sure you know everything regarding the licensing requirements and other rules and regulations relevant to them. Here, I have compiled lists for when it is must have an HMO license and also a list of HMO certifications you don’t really need.
This is the most significant question that whether all HMOs need a license or not. The clear and simple answer to it is –no. Even when a property falls within the definition of an HMO, it does not necessarily implement that it should be licensed.
The new legislation Housing Act 2004 has set a new definition for House in Multiple Occupation. One of the most prominent changes in the act is the inclusion of shared houses like those of students in HMOs. But there is special legislation that applies to properties considered HMOs and not all of them need certification. HMO license is only mandatory to properties that have three or more storeys and at least five occupants. (As mentioned below)
- A property is not an HMO when exemptions apply and there are a number of exemptions one can claim.
- Under special provisions, a Mandatory HMO License is not required for a block of converted self-contained flat. However, individual flats within a block will still be licensable.
- Any building or a part of it where only two persons are living cannot be an HMO even if those two persons are not related to each other. A premise is only defined as an HMO when it is occupied by at least three people.
HMO Certification You Need:
HMO license becomes absolutely necessary when you own a property that is three-storey or more. It further passes for HMO certification when it meets one of the following conditions:
- There are five or more than five people living in the property.
- People are living in two or more single households.
Other important things to consider regarding the HMO certification are:
• If you do not get an HMO license for the property that needs the license, then you are very likely to face a fine.
• Fines are also imposed when you tend to break any condition stated in the license.
• You are not liable to evict your tenants until you license your HMO.
Licensing Requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation:
There are various factors to consider while assessing whether the license should be granted to HMO or not.
- Is the HMO suitable for the number of tenants?
- Are the facilities like bathrooms, toilets and other cooking facilities suitable in HMO?
- What is the standard of safety in operation at the HMO?
- Is the landlord or the agent managing HMO is suitable for the designation? This is confirmed through a ‘fit and proper’ test.
- How suitable are the general managing arrangements?