Requirements For HMO

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A house in multiple occupation, also referred to as HMO is a property rented out by 3 or more people who are not from one household. In order to rent out your property as an HMO in the UK, you need to find out from your council whether you need a licence. However, if the property you are renting out is a large HMO, you will need a licence. A property is considered a large HMO if it meets the following conditions;

  • It is rented to at least 5 people from more than 1 household
  • 1 or more tenants pays rent (whether the payment is done personally or their employer)
  • All or all of the tenants share a kitchen, bathroom, or toilet

Restrictions of The HMO Licence

There are a few restrictions that come with your HMO licence and they are as follows;

  • A separate licence is required for each HMO you own
  • A licence is only valid for a maximum period of 5 years
  • You have to renew your licence before it expires

HMO Minimum Room Size Regulation

Rooms in the HMO with a floor measurement of less than 4.64 square metres cannot be used as a bedroom or sleeping room.

The floor area of rooms in the HMO used as a sleeping room by 2 persons aged 10 years or above must not be less than 10.22sqm.

The floor area of rooms in the HMO used as a sleeping room by 1 person aged 10 or above must not be less than 6.51Sqm.

Duties of HMO Managers and Landlords

The responsibilities of landlords are many and some of these can be covered by taking cover against emergencies which can be included in a HMO insurance policy. The contact details of the landlord to each household must be provided and displayed in the communal area

  • Maintain drainage and water supply
  • Ensure that escape routes from a fire incident are free from obstruction and well maintained
  • Ensure all common parts are well illuminated and maintained
  • Ensure gas safety checks are carried out annually. In addition, electrical installations should be checked every 5 years
  • Make provision for waste storage facilities and ensure the waste collection is done regularly
  • The internal installations and structures in each letting should be well maintained. In addition, at the start of each occupation, each unit must be clean

HMO Gas Safety Regulations

The gas safety regulations 1998 mandates all landlords and managers of residential buildings to ensure that all gas appliances, flues, and pipework are properly maintained and in a safe condition always. 

Annual inspection for all gas appliances that are provided with the property, such as hob, cooker, and others. The inspection should be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, after which a warranted Gas Safety Certificate (also referred to as CP12) will be issued as proof of inspection. The landlord and tenants should have a copy of the certificate.

Under the HMO management regulations, property managers and landlords must be able to present the current CP12 certificate to the local authority whenever it is requested. For the houses in multiple occupation that requires an HMO licence, the landlord will need to present the certificate during the process of any licence application. In addition, the landlord must send the latest copies of the certificate to the local authority annually.

Fit For Human Habitation

Property landlords must ensure that their properties are good for human habitation from the start and throughout the tenancy.

In section 10 of the Housing Act, the following factors are put into consideration to determine if a property is unfit for human habitation;

  • The building shouldn’t be in a bad state
  • The building shouldn’t be unstable in any way
  • It should have enough natural lighting
  • The property should have a safe layout
  • Freedom from damp
  • There should be a proper supply of cold and hot water
  • It should be well ventilated
  • Kitchen and wastewater disposal facilities
  • Sanitary and drainage conveniences

Repairs and Maintenance

The landlord is obligated to do the following under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985;

  • Keep in repair the exterior and structure of the dwelling-house
  • The installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of electricity, gas, and water should be in proper working condition. This also includes baths, basins, sinks, and sanitary conveniences.
  • The installations in the dwelling-house for heating water and space heating should be in proper working order

Conclusion

Being a landlord has many rewards, but before going down that path, make sure you are familiar with all the responsibilities attached to being a new landlord. Remember, you can outsource the management of your property and let them look after the property select tenants and comply to all the regulations.

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