Only 3 for an HMO beware the sting in the tail?

Only 3 for an HMO beware the sting in the tail?

9:32 AM, 9th December 2022, About 4 months ago 12

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Hello, As of 9th December 2021 the Lambeth BC decided to reduce the number of unrelated people using shared facilities from 5 to 3 to class it as an HMO.

At that time we had 3 gents living in the flat under AST which commenced in September 2019 and became a rolling AST from September 2020.

In December we were aware that some of the tenants would not be staying and whilst we looked into applying for the flat to become an HMO it was decided that it was not suitable and that we would need a family to move in (which is the current situation).

In the knowledge that some/all of the tenants would be leaving by the end of April (formal notice received in February from tenants to quit), and that the change in law related to new tenancies nothing further was done as to removing a tenant at the time in December 2021.

One of the former tenants has submitted a claim for the repayment of the rents paid for the period December through to April stating that it was an illegal occupancy.


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11:47 AM, 11th December 2022, About 4 months ago


I now see you have an issue of “Failure to licence” which is a strict liability criminal offence with fines generally
In the order of £12,000-15,000 plus a Rent Repayment Order.

You need professional help to minimise your fines/costs and to avoid your name in the public domain as a criminal

Go here and click the black button to schedule a Diagnosis Call with a specialist who can assist you

Dis Belief

20:23 PM, 11th December 2022, About 4 months ago

Lambeth’s additional licensing scheme started on 9/12/21. If you’d had discussions with them about taking the property out of HMO use they should have suggested you ask for Temporary Exemption from licensing, that would’ve been free and given an initial 3 month period if granted and a further 3 months in exceptional circumstances. If they didn’t advise you about a TEN temporary exemption notice then they’re hardly likely to penalise you with any civil financial penalty now. If they do try you can can say their lack of advice/ failure to act on your notification of taking steps to take the property out of HMO use gives you a reasonable excuse. For the RRO your own misunderstanding about whether Additional licensing is for existing or new tenancies wouldn’t be much of an excuse, but again you can assert the reasonable excuse that Lambeth were well aware of the property and knew you were taking it out of use but failed to progress any TEN after you told them you were taking it out of use. That’s what I’d do if I were in your shoes. If a reasonable excuse defence succeeds it means no offence and therefore no RRO

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