HMO Selective Licensing Porridge!

by Readers Question

15:28 PM, 5th September 2018
About 3 months ago

HMO Selective Licensing Porridge!

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HMO Selective Licensing Porridge!

I work for a company who owns many properties, we have staff living in them on SOA.

I have converted all of them into fully compliant HMO’s. Even the 2/3/4 bed properties, just to future proof them for the CEO and so I can sleep at night.

I am now in the process of ‘trying’ to get all the 5 bed plus properties licensed in readiness for October 1st.

Anyone else feel like they are walking through porridge? I am having to deal with 5 different council areas. Application forms are over 90 pages long and require so much information, it is making is impossible to complete.

I have had 2 inspections done at Surrey Council, so have been using them to answer questions, but they don’t seem to know all the answers, what hope do I have?

I class myself as the ‘manager’ on the forms, but it wants my passport photo, details and background to prove I am fit and proper. Not sure I want to give it all now. They suggested someone who has daily contact with the property, no one does. We do monthly inspections and have a business near each property where they work who can help in emergencies.

So my other dilemma is if I can show I am actively trying to get these completed, but still to date, 2 councils are not ‘ready’ for the process yet (25 days and counting) are the company still liable to fines?

Who do I put as the ‘manager’?

Many thanks

Zoe



Comments

Luke P

9:43 AM, 6th September 2018
About 3 months ago

How many 5+ bed properties does this affect?

Zoe AM

12:17 PM, 6th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 06/09/2018 - 09:43
Hi Luke

For us we have 10 properties 5 beds and above.
At £675 plus for each licence, it's a pricey exercise too.

Also cannot work out why the fee isn't the same for all councils?

Each house that is owned by the company is owned by the CEO and a n other director/s. Or owned by another company. So makes it harder for me to know who has to sign the forms. Some houses are owned by a company that has 5 directors!

Luke P

16:03 PM, 6th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Zoe AM at 06/09/2018 - 12:17
Could you make them 4-bed with one room 'plus office' as other HMO owners have done (or simply close off the room). It may be easier, cheaper and less stressful than dealing with the whole application process...

Even get inventive and look at knocking rooms together and/or creating en-suite(s).

Michael Barnes

18:25 PM, 7th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Re manager:
Could someone at the local business be the manager?
But I don't know what effect that would have if that person left the company.

Possibly a local letting agent could be employed for the job?

Maybe it should be a director of the company, who delegates and oversees the day-to-day activities?

Whoever is "the manager" needs to be trained in their responsibilities and legal position.

Jay James

18:58 PM, 7th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Zoe AM at 06/09/2018 - 12:17The registered (with the local council) Manager will be liable to prison (if certain of the regulations are broken). Your employer will not be able to indemnify the Manager against these potential crminal charges, no matter the circumstances. This is just one of the many headaches a manager would have have. Another is the seemingly endless number of regulations with no one source that guaratees to have a database of all regulations.

Zoe AM

11:46 AM, 10th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jay James at 07/09/2018 - 18:58
Thanks for your reply, that is what I was worried about. I have a personal licence from my time running pubs and I know what that entails for responsibility. So the question is now, how are the councils enforcing a person from each letting agent across the land, who collects rent for remote landlords of HMO's with 5 rooms or more to take criminal responsibility?

Badger

19:24 PM, 10th September 2018
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Zoe AM at 10/09/2018 - 11:46
You don't say where your HMOs are in the country but I do know a very good letting agent in the Ellesmere Port area that does handle HMOs if you are interested.

I don't have an HMO in the area but I was thinking about it at one point and did discuss it with this letting agent who has handled one of my properties for very many years now and I remain very happy with them.


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