Unlicensed HMO with 2 self contained Units and 2 Rooms

by Readers Question

16:00 PM, 28th September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Unlicensed HMO with 2 self contained Units and 2 Rooms

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Unlicensed HMO with 2 self contained Units and 2 Rooms

Dear All, I have a HMO and I have complied with all regulations including Smoke Alarms, Fire Doors, Fire Extinguishers etc and I have completed Fire Risk Assessment. Based on Fire Risk assessment all minor actions have been dealt with. Accordingly, I have EICR, Gas Safety, Floor Plans, EPC in place.

In total, I have 4 Rooms and 2 Self Contained units. Currently, 2 of the rooms are vacant hence currently 2 rooms and 2 self-contained occupied. I was at the verge of applying for Licence and lady living in one of Self Contained units have been very obstructive with access, and we had several disagreements via emails, and she threatened to report for Unlicensed HMO.

I have received a letter from Council stating that I am running an Unlicensed HMO for which I could be fined up to £30000, and they have stated that they will be visiting the property on 1st Of October to ascertain any safety hazards. In addition, they have stated that if I do not apply for a licence by 20th Of October then they will proceed with the next level of investigation.

My questions are:

-Would I still be penalised, even if I make an application before his visit on 1st Of October and there are no hazards found?

-Only 2 of Rooms are occupied and 2 are vacant whilst 2 of Self contained units are occupied therefore in total 4 rooms including Self Contained units are currently LET. As I understand it is 5 rooms which qualify for mandatory licensing?

Do Self studios which form part of the same house still account towards the number of rooms as they have their own facilities?

I am somewhat confused with their contradiction as one hand they are inviting me to apply for a licence by a certain date and on other hand, they are threatening to impose a penalty. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Simon


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Comments

Neil Patterson

16:06 PM, 28th September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

This is not my area of expertise, so I would check out Landlord Licensing and Defence >> https://www.property118.com/member/?id=36518

Smartermind

9:47 AM, 29th September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

You should follow the advise by Neil Patterson.

I believe A HMO depends on the number of unrelated occupants who have their permanent address at the HMO, not the number of rooms.

If you have only two occupants then you are on the right side, but should apply for a licence for the maximum number of occupants that the HMO can legally sustain.

If the council have invited you to apply by 20th October, then you should do so rather than wait for their visit. They are not contradicting themselves. Perhaps any self-contained units wouldn't form part of the HMO.

Also it is wise not to fall out with tenants. Emails can easily be misconstrued and lead to arguments.

brian gill

10:07 AM, 29th September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I am not qualified but I have had various discussions with my local authority regarding, what is, and what is not, a licenseable HMO. My understanding is as follows:

Empty rooms dont count, but obviuoulsy cant be used.

If there are any shared facilities, you have to count all rooms even if some are self contained.

If you have facilities not shared, but not behind the front door of the individual room, you still need a license if occupancy levels dictate.

Kulasmiley

10:44 AM, 29th September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Hi there.

Apply for your licence as soon as. Be as friendly and professional with the enforcement officer as you can. Also due to COVID you may have been impacted and that should be taken into consideration if you were late etc for access to certain flats. Ask his/her professional experience as to if you’ve made errors etc on the property, thank him/her for their time, ask if they are safe and well from COVID. Take a note pad and look professional, smile as best as you can.


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