Council HMO guidance – Now more confused than when I started?

by Readers Question

10:29 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Council HMO guidance – Now more confused than when I started?

Make Text Bigger
Council HMO guidance – Now more confused than when I started?

I’ve read Bexley Council and Government guidance but am just more confused than when I started.

I have converted my house into 3 separate living ‘units’, I’m not calling them flats as they don’t meet building regulations (I do have planning permission for the extension and conversion works).

Each unit has its own entrance, bedroom, kitchen, en-suite and living room. It was originally designed for myself and my two daughters to live in, so we would all have independence and privacy without them having to try and afford places of their own.

One of my daughters has now moved into a flatshare and won’t be living in her unit. I would like to rent this out privately.

Here are my questions:
Would my property be classed as an HMO as it is (3 separate units) or could I class the tenant as a lodger?
Would I need to make one of the areas shared to qualify as either HMO or lodger (I would like to keep them separate if possible)?
Could I keep my unit as self-contained or would I need to share one of the spaces as well?

I know I won’t need a licence if it’s classed as an HMO but I will need different planning permission which I would very much like to avoid if possible and if I could get the tenant in as a lodger I don’t think I need the extra planning permission.

This is all new to me and I can’t make head nor tail of the stuff I’m reading.

Thank you

Sue


Share this article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Comments

Neil Patterson

10:36 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

This sounds like a completely self-contained flat and as such a standard BTL if that is correct?

However. you can't just move in a tenant if it does not conform to building regs.

To protect your asset you first need to make sure it fits within planning permissions and building regs.

Tessa Shepperson

11:10 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

In order to avoid problems, I suggest you get some proper professional advice before you do anything. We have a telephone advice service you can use here with specialist solicitors: https://landlordlaw.co.uk/openaccess_content/the-landlord-law-telephone-advice-service/ You may want to select the HMO advice service as those solicitors are more likely to have the particular expertise you need for this situation

reader

11:43 AM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Unless you are familiar with the legislation and any local licensing scheme you would be best to seek professional advice. Alternatively the NRLA should be able to help if you join them.
You seem to have an HMO but it is probably not licensable under the national scheme. But there is a lot more involved in your description than mere licensing issues.

JohnCaversham

12:23 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I would remove a couple of the front doors as you suggest so the whole property is no longer 'self contained' rather it becomes en-suite bedrooms within a house etc..That would satisfy any building regs as it remains a house, then you can have a lodger in as normal, and if you decide to pop the lodgers front door back on at a later date for additional privacy then you can. However, the moment you rent the unit as a flat with an AST then you are back to square 1, so the lodger agreement route is the way fwd if you live there too.....

Chris @ Possession Friend

14:46 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

HMO, Converted building,
( That's a short, quick answer )
You definitely need advice.

David

14:50 PM, 26th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

You have a number of questions there:
- if the units are completely self contained and just share a communal hallway and perhaps stairwell, then I think the building could be a s257 HMO, (if at least half the units are let), but none of the individual units would be subject to the HMO regulations unless they met the tests individually. If the units share any facilities, such as a toilet on the landing or a bathroom between two of them etc, then I think the whole property is a regular s254 HMO and all the spaces would have to comply. This should be checked with an HMO specialist.
- If you are living in the same building as the tenant, but not sharing facilities, (kitchen, bathrooms etc) then I think they would be an occupier with basic protection. This means they have far fewer rights than an assured tenant. If you are sharing any facilities, then they would be a licensee (lodger)
- If your local authority has an Additional Licensing scheme in place, 3 person HMOs and s257 HMOs may be included
- If the units

LaLo

14:40 PM, 27th October 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Is "guidance" law???


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Non-resident Landlord scheme and 6 months rule?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More