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A-Z of Lettings H is For HMO

A –Z of Lettings

H is for HMO

If you have a large property that you are considering letting to a number of people you may need to consider if the property comes under HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) license legislation.

A property is considered an HMO if it falls into the following category;

  • At least three tenants live there, forming more than one household (i.e. tenants are unrelated).
  • Tenants share WC, bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Furthermore the property will be considered a large HMO under the following conditions.

  • The property is at least 3 stories high
  • There are at least 5 tenants living there forming more than one household
  • Tenants share WC, bathroom and kitchen facilities

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together – including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, e.g grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children

If the property falls into the above categories then the Landlord must apply for a Licence from their local authority.

Costs of HMO Licenses

Costs can vary between Local Authorities and the number of tenants and also whether the Landlord is accredited with the authority. The figures below show the current rates for Leeds City Council.

Property type (Accredited) (Non-accredited)
5-6 occupants £583.45 £700.14
7-8 occupants £749.27 £908.96
9-14 occupants £1,105.49 £1,332.73
15-19 occupants £1,228.32 £1,455.56
20 or more occupants £1,351.15 £1,578.39

Even if your property is smaller and rented to fewer people, you may still need a licence depending on the area so it’s advisable to check with your local council.

A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years and must be renewed before it runs out.

  • You need a separate licence for each HMO you run.
  • You must make sure of the following:
  1. That the house is suitable for the number of occupants (e.g. size and facilities)
  2. Whoever manages of the property – (Landlord or an agent) – is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, e.g. no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice

You must also:

  • send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
  • install and maintain smoke alarms
  • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested

The council may add other conditions to your licence, e.g. improving the standard of your facilities. They will let you know when you apply.  Should you not agree with the conditions there is an option to appeal.

The licensing of regulations regarding HMO’s are numerous and thorough investigation is recommended prior to investing in such property. Further information can be found by clicking this link.

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