HMO – Camden Council sending letters to the mortgage provider?

HMO – Camden Council sending letters to the mortgage provider?

11:34 AM, 17th December 2018, About 3 years ago 23

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Over the last year I have submitted many HMO applications to Camden Council so to comply with their new additional HMO scheme (note: they are the only borough currently who are imposing this onto their landlords).

After submitting the application and having had a visit from the inspector we have carried out the works in accordance to their schedule of works and provided proof to them which they are happy with so we are now under the impression that everything is going accordingly as they did not arrange for a further visit.

After several weeks had passed we received a letter from our mortgage provider advising us that they had received a letter from the council advising them that we have applied for a HMO application which our mortgage provider advised us we are breaching our mortgage terms and condition. We then had to write back to the mortgage broker advising them that they had a different definition of a HMO compared to the councils definition and that we have not breached their terms and conditions in anyway what so ever.

They then asked for an AST which we then provided. Even though we have provided all the relevant information to the mortgage company they still blocked our account. We then got the council to write a letter to us giving their definition of a HMO which we then forwarded to the mortgage provider and after voicing our frustration with the way they treated us as a customer we wanted to leave and go elsewhere they then gave in and unblocked our account.

We have received this letter for several properties and it is just so frustrating as the issue lies in the definition of a HMO and the fact that we have not breached our terms and condition what so ever with our mortgage provider yet we still received these letters advising that we have breached their terms is very worrying and blocking our account is just going over the top.

Has anyone experienced this issue?

If so, how did you deal with this?

Robert



Comments

by Dylan Morris

20:51 PM, 17th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Hi Robert, What do you mean when you say your mortgage lender “blocked” your account ?

by Mark Alexander

7:21 AM, 18th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Is the lender Platform Homeloans by any chance?

by Michael Barnes

16:28 PM, 18th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by James Barnes at 17/12/2018 - 12:43
What you have quoted appears to be about the applicant, not the local authority.

by Michael Barnes

16:29 PM, 18th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 17/12/2018 - 12:04
"The basic definition of an HMO is any property with shared facilities with more than 2 households"

No,it isn't

by James Barnes

16:51 PM, 18th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 18/12/2018 - 16:28
Yes you're quite right

The relevant part is in fact in Schedule 5 Housing Act 2004 available at:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/schedule/5

Here it is

SCHEDULE 5
Licences under Parts 2 and 3: procedure and appeals
Part 1
Procedure relating to grant or refusal of licences
Requirements before grant of licence
1. Before granting a licence, the local housing authority must—

(a)serve a notice under this paragraph, together with a copy of the proposed licence, on the applicant for the licence and each relevant person, and

(b)consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.

by Jay James

18:48 PM, 18th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 17/12/2018 - 12:04"The basic definition of an HMO is any property with shared facilities with more than 2 households"
No it is not, see https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/houses-in-multiple-occupation which contains the definition of an HMO. It states "Your home is a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:
*at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
*you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants.
.

.

I suspect confusion over the definition has arisen because "HMO definition" is being conflated with "licensable HMO".

by H B

19:58 PM, 19th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Anne Nixon at 17/12/2018 - 15:39
Anne, with regards your comment:
" I emailed the LHA asking what measures I needed to take in order to be compliant.
After getting no reply from them I instead received out of the blue a prohibition order for that room - bad enough and I was mortified by this as I had been awaiting guidance from them"

This is very unfortunate and I can see what a shock it would be especially without any warning at all. However, an LA will never offer advice on how to become compliant with legislation - at the very most they will point you in the direction of the relevant rules, but not what you need to do - this opens up a legal risk for them. They would expect you to seek the relevant professional advice.

by Mark Shine

22:35 PM, 19th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by H B at 19/12/2018 - 19:58
👆: “an LA will never offer advice on how to become compliant with legislation”

Not the case with Camden. They offer very ‘detailed’ (although, having received it from Camden myself, as the OP presumably also did from them... I think ‘overly verbose’ would be a far more accurate description of) advice as to what their compliance requirements are licensable ‘additional’ hmos.

by H B

10:45 AM, 20th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Shine at 19/12/2018 - 22:35
Thinking back, I have received advice on a loft conversion from the inspector on the stairway, but it was spoken rather than written (need x space at foot of stairs, so much head height etc). But I can’t imagine receiving specific written recommendations other than identifying which parts of the rules I was non-compliant with.

by Rob Crawford

13:48 PM, 20th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 17/12/2018 - 12:04HMO's are often split into two categories. Those let under a single tenancy agreement and those let on a bedroom basis (bedsits). The latter is considered a higher risk household as such insurers, mortgage providers and depending on the amenities provided Councils will treat both differently. To save any issues arising at a later date it is very important that mortgage and insurance providers are made clear as to the terms that you are renting the HMO. I also believe that those providers should pose the question to the landlord!


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