Am I a HMO (house in multiple occupation)?

If you have 3 or more people (that are NOT related to each other) and they share the same amenities (i.e. Kitchen) then you ARE A HMO, irrespective of the number of floor levels you have, and irrespective if they have a single tenancy agreement, or are on a joint tenancy agreement.

For example if you have a group of 3 or 4 unrelated students, who shared a kitchen, or bathroom, and they have a joint tenancy agreement, then you are a HMO property.

Or if you have 3 or 4 working professionals/asylum seekers/migrant or seasonal workers that are not related to each other and they share a kitchen, and they have individually signed a single tenancy agreement each, then you are still a HMO.

What does that mean, in terms of HMO legislation?

Under this type of HMO, you are required to license your property (only where additional licensing scheme applies, Coventry Council will be enforcing this).  You have to comply with the Housing Act –under -The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006.  Under this law there is a lot of legislation, which mostly relates to welfare and in particular fire safety for the HMO tenants and this is where a lot of confusion stems from.

For 2 main reasons:

  • Because people think that HMO rules ONLY apply to 5 or above individuals.
  • The landlord has had conflicting, and second hand information from a builder, architect or agent, and therefore “winged-it”, to determine what he should or should not put in his HMO. (See common mistakes in HMO’s )

This has led to court convictions for the landlord, and unfortunately when the landlord has to answer to the man/woman with the “white curly wig” sitting opposite him, none of his compatriots (builder, architect or agent) are anywhere to be seen.  It is the landlord (or sometimes the ‘managing agent’) that’s the “responsible person” in the eyes of law, and he/she has the legal duty to adhere to the legislations that apply to this type of HMO.

The penalties for non-compliance

  • Civil Penalties up to £30,000
  • In such cases you will not be a ‘fit and proper’ person and therefore will not be able to manage your HMO property.
  • Your insurance can become null and void and therefore not pay out on damages or any claims.
  • Under the ‘relevant persons’ section, your mortgage lenders may be contacted and your mortgage can be revoked
  • A banning order where the landlord (or agent) has been convicted
  • A ‘rent repayment order’

Contact us & find out what you need to do to comply with this Act.  02477 360 021