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Article > HMO Regulations In A Nutshell

Article kindly supplied by

Matthew Moody

 

I get asked this question ALL the time so thought I should really put down the laymans simple guide to what the HMO regulations mean for you.

Since the Housing Act of 2004, all HMO's (Houses of Multiple Occupation) have fallen under the regulations of the act.

The regulations cover any investment property where two or more unrelated people share - so even if you have a 2-bed flat and you have 2 unrelated people sharing it; its technically a HMO.

However, the government are really interested in larger HMO's where risks such as fire hazards, overcrowding, poor sanitary and conditions may prevail. This being the case, the the standard of the regulations differs according to the type of HMO it is.

There's also the confusion over occupants verses households. An occupant is a person; a household is the family unit; i.e. there are four people that live in my house but only one household. I have licences for properties where I can let to 6 households but up to 8 people (ie I could let to 2 couples if I wanted to). You get the picture...

 

HMO Survival Guide

If you're serious about your property business in 2013, you will get this report, right now and read the report today.

Imagine, month after month, having dozens of £400 deposits in your bank account,with almost no chasing the rent and little tenant support—ever. What an easy way to earn a living that would be! You can have that life. I'll show you how.

  • Why HMO's Are The Perfect Property Investment
  • HMO's Are Not Problem Free
  • Why HMO's Are More Than Just a HMO
  • The HMO Survival Guide
  • Managing Your HMO Effectively
  • Make Money With This Report


Generally speaking, the high-risk HMO's where there are more than 5 people sharing in a 3 storey or greater house is where the regulations will be tightest - and rightly so as these are the types of houses where fire safety needs to be highest. These investment properties will be subject to mandatory licencing.So, how do you know whether your property falls under mandatory licencing or not?

1. The regulations will generally only apply to houses as flats are unlikely to have the space or facilities for multiple-occupation (unless they are one of the new hybrid of student-flat developments springing up everywhere).

2. The key criteria always asked is - is the house occupied by 5 or more people (including children) who are living as 2 or more households?

3. The next criteria is - are amenities shared between households such as bathrooms, kitchens, toilets or showers?

4. The final criteria asked - is the property 3 storeys (floors) in height?


Depending on your answers will depend on whether your property is classified as requiring a mandatory licence.

 

HMO Survival Guide

If you're serious about your property business in 2013, you will get this report, right now and read the report today.

Imagine, month after month, having dozens of £400 deposits in your bank account,with almost no chasing the rent and little tenant support—ever. What an easy way to earn a living that would be! You can have that life. I'll show you how.

  • Why HMO's Are The Perfect Property Investment
  • HMO's Are Not Problem Free
  • Why HMO's Are More Than Just a HMO
  • The HMO Survival Guide
  • Managing Your HMO Effectively
  • Make Money With This Report


So, what then happens if you have a property that is classified as a HMO and it needs licencing?

1. You need to get in contact with your local council and speak to the HMO Licencing Team (depending on the council, this may be someone on the Environmental Health team) and get then to send you an Application Form for a House in Multiple Occupancy.

2. The normal forms are about 30 pages long and go into a lot of detail - so you'll need to set aside a couple of hours to complete this in full. The form basically asks you a lot of information about the property, you and the managing agent (if you're not managing it yourself). I'm going to cover in another post how to fill out the form correctly.

3. Send this off together with a large cheque of indeterminant amount (last time I checked, licence fees went from £300 right through to £1,500 per property across the country - although its the same amount of work every time!).

4. The council will then get back in contact with you regarding any fire and safety regulations that you may need to adhere to. Again, I'm going to cover these in more detail in another post but for now; suffice to say that any 3-storey property with 5 or more people in is generally going to need a BS5839:6 2004 Grade A fire system. Sometimes a Grade B or Grade D system is allowed but this does depend on the fire officer, the level of risk presented and the structure of the building.

5. You're also going to have to have fire doors on all "hot" doors (basically anything that isn't a bathroom) with intrumescant strips and closers. That together with fire extinquishers in the kitchen will give you enough protection against any fires.


For a HMO that isn't licenced, the same rules apply in terms of health and safety but you won't be required to follow a prescribed set of instructions - this is something that you need to do yourself and be comfortable that the fire protection you are providing is adequate according to the regulations in place.

So, to sum up; if you have a 3 storey property with 5 or more people in, you will need to apply for a mandatory licence; if there are less people or less storeys that this; it will not be licenced but it will still be a HMO.

Matthew Moody
01933460270
www.yourhmoexpert.com

 

 

HMO Survival Guide

If you're serious about your property business in 2013, you will get this report, right now and read the report today.

Imagine, month after month, having dozens of £400 deposits in your bank account,with almost no chasing the rent and little tenant support—ever. What an easy way to earn a living that would be! You can have that life. I'll show you how.

  • Why HMO's Are The Perfect Property Investment
  • HMO's Are Not Problem Free
  • Why HMO's Are More Than Just a HMO
  • The HMO Survival Guide
  • Managing Your HMO Effectively
  • Make Money With This Report

 

 

 

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Matthew Moody

Matthew Moody

About The Author:

Matthew Moody is one of the UK’s top HMO experts and the founder of www.yourhmoexpert.com a website dedicated to providing property investors with free information about investing in high quality professional HMO’s.
He runs regular workshops and speaks at events around the country.
He also runs a HMO management agency with offices in Northampton, Leeds, Lincoln, Hemel Hempstead and Colchester together with a property sourcing and education business, and a furniture package supplier.
For more details, please contact Matthew on 01933 460270/01604 521301 or info@yourhmoexpert.com

HMO Survival Guide

 

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