Private Sector Housing FAQ's

Questions

 

What is a House in Multiple Occupation?

 

There are three main types of HMOs

Non-licensable HMO

Law

S. 254, of the Housing Act 2004

Definition

An entire house or flat which is let to:

  • At least 3 tenants,
  • Forming 2 or more households
  • Sharing a facility such as a bathroom, toilet or kitchen.
 

Licensable HMO

Law

Part 2 Housing Act 2004

Definition

Buildings that are;

  • 3 or more storeys high, (inc commercial unit and 2 storeys above)
  • 5 or more tenants
  • Forming 2 or more households.
   

Certain converted blocks of flats

Law

s.257, of the Housing Act 2004

Definition

  • A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats, if the conversion does not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations.
  • More than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.

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What is a Household?

A household is defined under s.258 of the Housing Act 2004 as:

Persons are to be regarded as forming a single household if:

  1. All members of the household are related or
  2. If a couple are living as husband or wife (or equivalent relationship)

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How long is a licence valid?

You require a separate licence for each HMO you run and the licence is valid for 5 years

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Are there any conditions?

You must make sure:

  • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (e.g. size and facilities)
  • the manager of the house - you 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 license, e.g. improving the standard of your facilities.

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Are there any exemptions?

HMOs exempt from licensing include

  • buildings, or parts of buildings, occupied by no more than two households each of which comprise a single person (that is. two person flat shares)
  • buildings occupied by a resident landlord with up to two tenants buildings managed or owned by a public body (such as the police or the NHS) or an LHA or a Registered Social Landlord
  • buildings where the residential accommodation is ancillary to the principal use of the building, for example religious establishments, conference centre’s and such like:
  • student halls of residence, where the education establishment has signed up to an Approved Code of Practice
  • buildings regulated otherwise than under the Act, such as care homes, bail hostels etc, and the description of which are specified in regulations
  • buildings entirely occupied by freeholders or long leaseholders

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