What You Need to Know About HMO Licensing as a Landlord


hmo license, hmo regulations, what you need to know about hmo licensing, hmo licensing


If you have read any of my work then you know that I am particularly fond of HMOs. Now most people would define HMOs as:

Any property rented out by at least three people who are not from the same household. This means they can’t be from the same family. These people, however, live in the same home and share facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom. HMOs are sometimes referred to as ‘house share’.

Owning and running an HMO can be a landlord’s dream come true. It gives you the opportunity to get a lot more rent from a single unit than you typically would’ve had you rented it out to a single family. Think about it this way, almost every room in your HMO acts as a different unit altogether. This means you collect rent on multiple rooms within the house. Much like a mini-hotel.


How to check if property has a HMO license

hmo license, hmo regulations, what you need to know about hmo licensing, hmo licensing

structures that are 3 storeys high or more are required to have HMO licensing


The thing about owning and operating a HMO is that you must have a license to do so. This is particularly true if you’re renting out what can be defined as a large HMO. Your property qualifies to be a large HMO if all of the following apply to it:

• It is at least 3 storeys high
• You have rented it out to 5 or even more people who form more than a single household
• The tenants therein share the facilities such as toilets, bathroom and kitchen

You simply must get a license if you intend to run a large HMO. In fact, even some small HMOs still require a license. The best way to deal with this is to get in touch with your local council. As the local council is the body mandated with the responsibility of making sure you perform your legal duties as an HMO landlord, it is often best to get in touch with them so that you know exactly what is required of you. If you, however, have any questions or maybe some concerns about your property in general, you should see an Environmental Health Officer. This is also the right person to approach when dealing with the all-important fire risk assessment issues.


Types of HMO licenses

You simply must have a HMO license for properties higher than 3 storeys. This includes those properties above shops. As long as the property meets the criteria of being a large HMO as earlier stated. This is referred to as ‘Mandatory Licensing’.

The local council, however, has the authority to impose a licensing requirement on other HMO types in the area if they feel that a considerable number of them are being mismanaged. This is referred to as ‘Additional Licensing’ and is entirely dependent on the local council in question.

Before you even think about advertising your property as HMO ready, you must check if the property has a HMO license. Without this, you run a risk of being shut down and facing legal ramifications from the local council.

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