Can I rent out 2 small rooms to one person to get around minimum HMO sizes?

Can I rent out 2 small rooms to one person to get around minimum HMO sizes?

11:48 AM, 18th January 2022, About 4 months ago 4

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I would like to hear other members opinions on HMO room sizes. I understand that national standards for room sizes for singles over 10 years old is 6.51sq m so that should include adults as well.

I have two rooms in an HMO which are 7.6sq m and 7.0 sq m respectively and below the minimum room sizes required by the council who have issued my HMO licence and whose room size requirements exceed national standards.

Is there anything preventing me from renting both rooms out to one person on the basis that one is for sleeping and the other for extra living space? I can either issue one AST with both rooms or even a lodgers agreement.

I would be very interested in the views of other Landlords on this.

Many thanks

Will



Comments

by Si BB

12:09 PM, 18th January 2022, About 4 months ago

Can I ask what kind of tenants? Students?

This has relevance due to a Supreme Court decision a few years ago re HMO room sizes.

by Robert Mellors

12:52 PM, 18th January 2022, About 4 months ago

You cannot issue a lodger agreement unless you are resident there yourself as a live in landlord (not a visiting landlord or count it as a second/holiday home).

There is nothing to stop you from renting out as many rooms as you wish to one tenant, BUT why would you wish to do this, and it doesn't "get around" anything in terms of minimum room sizes, either the room is above the minimum size (so can be let) or it is below the minimum room size (so can't be let).

If your property requires a HMO Licence, then I believe that if they are smaller than the minimum size, then they simply cannot be used as letting rooms. If they are side by side, perhaps consider knocking through and making one larger room you are allowed to let?

by Ross Tulloch

13:05 PM, 18th January 2022, About 4 months ago

Southwark a few years ago had a minimum HMO room size for 1 person as 10m without a living room in the property. (4 rooms no living room) Mine was 8.5m and I took them to tribunal rather than have a permanently empty room, or make a living room and increase rents for everyone else. I won as they did not want a hearing, and I was hoping that if it did get to a hearing common sense would prevail, but it did before this. Sadly the 6.51 minimum room size has meant that we have sold 2 properties evicting 8, but clearly it is pathetically illegal to rent a 6.51 room, but quite legal to live on the streets. Councils increasing their minimum room size perhaps contribute to the fact that now when we advertise a room we get 50 enquiries. The war on Landlords hits the people at the bottom worst. We just shrug our shoulders and sell up

by Rob Crawford

14:08 PM, 18th January 2022, About 4 months ago

Are the rooms next to each other? If so, maybe remove the dividing wall or put a double door in it. Then let it as a single room.


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