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House in multiple occupation

House in multiple occupation

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)


If you are letting a property to more than two tenants then there is a possibility that the let property will need to be licensed.
The licensing of let properties was introduced under the Housing Act 2004.
Mandatory HMO licensing began on April 6th 2006.

From July 3rd 2006 all liable landlords who have not applied for a licence will face enforcement action which can include fines up to 20,000.

Is your property a HMO

A property is classed as a HMO if it satisfies all of the following:

  • A house or flat that is let to 3 or more tenants
  • At least 2 of the tenants are unrelated
  • The tenants share facilities (kitchen, bathroom etc)

If you intend to let the property to one family then HMO licensing will not apply

Does your property need a HMO licence


Check with your local authority as different councils have different requirements
Mandatory licensing will be required if all the following circumstances apply:
A house or flat that is let to 5 or more tenants
At least 2 of the tenants are unrelated
The tenants share facilities (kitchen, bathroom etc)
There are at least 3 floors to the property

A separate licence is needed for each property. A licence cannot relate to more than one property.

You cannot transfer a licence to another person. A landlord can nominate someone else to be the licence holder however that person needs to be a fit and proper person for the task, for example a building manager or agent.

The local authority will be responsible for licensing.

What are the minimum standards required for a HMO licence
The applicant must be a fit and proper person. The local authority will seek to establish whether the applicant has any unspent criminal convictions. Or whether there has been any history of problems relating to housing or the letting of housing.
The property will need to satisfy the local authorities standards. These standards will vary between local authorities.

HMO and buy to let mortgages


HMO will be an issue with buy to let lenders. Think about how you intend to let this property. Please discuss with your mortgage advisor.

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