If you are a property owner or landlord of a large house or residential property that is let to multiple tenants then you may find that you need a formal HMO licence to do so. If the property has three or more storeys and five or more tenants who form more than one “family household” then the property is considered to be a House in Multiple Occupation or HMO and as such you must ensure that you have a valid HMO licence in place.
As well as maintaining the building fabric and other health and safety issues associated with Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and meeting any relevant regulatory compliance standards, landlords of multi-occupancy properties also have a duty to manage their tenants, tenancy agreements, rent deposits, rent collection etc. In this respect HMO landlords are no different to landlords who own and manage smaller, single occupancy buy-to-let residential properties.
Typically there is an obligation placed on the landlord or property owner to provide their tenants with a comfortable and well maintained property, as well as being on hand should anything go wrong with the house or flat in question.
As a buy-to-let landlord and owner of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) it is extremely important that good standards of maintenance and health and safety are maintained at all times, especially when the property is occupied by your tenants. Under the law covering HMOs, as a landlord you have certain obligations that need to be met and these are policed by your local authority who will inspect your property every five years using a series of risk assessments and the recognised Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to ensure your continued compliance with the law.
Houses with multiple tenants, often falling in to the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) category are unsurprisingly growing in popularity all the time. One of the most popular examples of such multiple occupancy accommodation is student property – where a large house or residential property is divided into rooms so that several rent paying students can live there.
For a property to be formally listed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) there must be rentable rooms or flats within one single property.
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