Landlords: Licensing HMOs

Oct 20, 2019 | Landlords

Becoming a landlord seems like such a good idea to provide you with an income.

But hold your horses! There are a lot of gotchas for landlords – EICRs and the licensing of HMOs were both in the news this week.

Landlords need to licence HMOs

First up, is your property an HMO? A house of multiple occupancy.

I remember when my daughter left home for the first time. I drove her and her belongings down to Brighton where she was renting a flat in the roof of a large town house. You know the sort – basement and two floors above plus a converted loft.

She and her friend were paying £500/month for a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen. The floor around the shower felt as if you could put your foot through it, there was mould everywhere and the front door fell off after we had carried the last of her boxes up the three flights of stairs. I don’t recall seeing any smoke alarms and I cried all the way home because I was so worried about what would happen if there was a fire.

But times are changing. Rules about fire safety are now being more strongly enforced. And the first step is for councils to identify the HMOs in their areas.

Do you own a property in England and Wales which is three storeys or more and occupied by five or more people who are not related? Well, that is an HMO and, since 2006 you have been required to licence these types with the local authority.landlords licensing HMOs

A letting agent in Loughborough got this wrong recently and was fined.

Fire safety is down to the landlord

Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that their properties are safe and proper places for people to live.

Licensing was introduced to make sure living and safety standards are met.

You are advised to speak to your local council to ensure that your property is properly licensed.

And to speak to a Fire safety expert to ensure you have everything in place to keep tenants safe, including fire doors, fire extinguishers and smoke alarms.

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