Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation must Register for New Licences or Risk Fines

If you’re a landlord responsible for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you need to apply for a maximum five year licence or risk unlimited fines.

New rules, introduced last year for local authorities, mean that councils such as Harrow are now targeting houses and flats which previously fell outside the scope of the current legislation (Housing Act 2004).

What You Need To Do

You need to have licences if you’re renting out a large HMO defined as:

  • Rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • At least 3 storeys high
  • Tenants sharing a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Depending on each council, even if a property is smaller and rented to a few people, a licence may still be needed.

Other Requirements

You also need to:

  • Send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms
  • Provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested
  • Make sure the house is suitable for the number of occupants (e.g. size and facilities)
  • Appoint a manager of the house – you as the landlord or an agent – who is considered to be ‘fit and proper’ e.g. no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice

There may be other conditions required that also need to be met such as improving the standard of the facilities.

You need to apply to your local authority for an HMO licence – a fee is set by each council. Each property must have its own licence.

“Harrow, as well as a number of other local authorities have introduced the additional licensing schemes under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 to tackle badly managed properties,” says Shephali Devani from Vyman Solicitors.

“It can be a bit of minefield but we’re here to help make property transactions including for HMOs go smoothly. We’re proud that over the years we have built up a first class reputation,” says Shephali.

To see how we can help, please get in touch:

Tel: +44 (0)20 8427 9080

Fax: +44 (0)20 8427 9050