AirBNB within HMO

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    AirBNB within HMO


    I own a Licensed HMO, the license allows for up to 5 tenants - in 4 rooms, I have 4 tenants in 4 rooms.

    I have a smaller room that the License - when it was imposed stopped me renting out, and is now vacant - minimum room sizes were quoted as reasons it could not be included.

    Can this room be let out for short lets via something like Air BNB ? I do not see AirBNB quote a minimum room size, the room size is 6.5 sq mt.


    Interesting question. Do the licence conditions cover this at all?


      The safety requirements are likely to be more stringent than those for a licensed HMO, even if you somehow have a loophole.


        HMO laws & regulations mention I think "households" and "persons" not "tenants". HMO regulations also apply to properties with resident landlords (so his occupants have licenses).

        In your circumstances any AirBnB occupant would be your 5th of the license. And you'd need to instruct him on the HMO paperwork etc.

        If the room was too small for HMO regs, think that makes it realistically too small for anyone else, unless the ghost of Rachman is returning...
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


          I have an office here in one of the other rooms which I use, sometimes my girlfriend stays over and crashes on the floor, but neither she nor I am a 'household' or 'resident' as we live elsewhere.
          Tenants have partners over to stay, but they are also not viewed as 'household' members as their permanent residence too is elsewhere.

          I have read though the licence - can't see anything limiting non resident visits or stays at the property.

          I let the room for 13 years prior to the licence requirement without any problem, it suited people looking for a smaller room for less money.

          The room meets all fire regs for being inside an HMO with Fire Door and Wired Smoke detector connected to the main panel, its just too small (as far as the licence is concerned).

          All tenants have AST's.

          The fifth person would be within the license 'persons' limit.


            Having thought about this a little more I think Artful is probably right and the HMO regulations would apply to this bedroom even if you let it in a different way.


              Thank you for your deeper thought, yes i am racking (no punn on Rackman intended) my brain also.

              This has become an 'other' room, I wonder what licences say about properties that have several 'other' rooms, my property seems to have two - does every room in an HMO come under a licences remit ?

              I could still let the room for say storage purposes, and could 'Invitees and Guests' stay in this spare room if they wished - dont see anything ni the licence about 'other' rooms in the property, so the room can be used, (just not as a permanent bedroom) - can't see why a visitor or guest (ie 5th person) could not occupy it for short periods.

              In fact do the 'person's' number in this case count - if every household invited a guest to stay at the same time (theoretically) there would be 8 persons in the property (4 households + 1 guest each = 8).


                I understand a let such as with Air BNB is outside the scope of the Housing act and the requirement for an AST, it is termed a bare 'licence', with only personal rights, not any proprietory rights (as per an AST).


                  You could probably rent it for storage but as Artful says, the HMO regulations are broad and cover a wide range of occupation conditions. I have no experience of this and its worth you checking with your local authority but I assume that in the case of 3 or more lodgers in an owner occupied property for example, the rooms size restriction would apply to all rooms, including the one occupied by the landlord. If that's the case, you have little hope of letting it as a bedroom in your scenario.


                    Agreed, a more thorough understanding of the HMO reg's is needed, I asked one chap at the NLA helpline and he felt it should not be an issue.
                    Going by our local councils own written up standards - I think they may glaze over if I were to ask a question thats outside there sphere of thinking and simply say no - but I will ask anyway.


                      Originally posted by bob369 View Post
                      I understand a let such as with Air BNB is outside the scope of the Housing act and the requirement for an AST, it is termed a bare 'licence', with only personal rights, not any proprietory rights (as per an AST).
                      That depends on what the actual occupancy is. If a genuine holiday for a couple of days, yes. However if the occupant turns out to really be living there (how would you stop him..) it's an AST - deposit protection, etc etc etc.
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


                        I think I need to confirm that you could actually let an unused part of an HMO - say for storage, or for say a holiday home let.
                        If you going the AirBNB route - you would need to confirm in the eyes of licencing what is a 'temporary' let, and how long that is measured as.


                          We have a couple of HMOs, and when someone applies to be a tenant, I run checks on them, get references etc, and part of that is because I feel I have a duty to the other housemates to make sure a new tenant is safe, which I think they all appreciate is important. I'm not sure how they would feel if a trail of unknowns came in and out of their home?? Airbnb is all about you as host, but wouldn't this be a bit like foisting the host role onto your tenants? I think they might not like it and you could lose them.


                            I would never consider going to your place as a one week holiday let, having 4 strangers there, and is totaly abhorant, and not being able to sit in peace in the living room.
                            And you will want your tenants to pay for the extra gas and electric that the holiday let incurs ??? You will see them all leave.


                              Thank you for your comments, I think you paint AirBNB users with a bit of a tarry brush though, if they have a good reputation on Air BNB can't see why they wouldn't be respectful.

                              It would most likely be let by people here who are here to work on short trips, specialist repair engineers etc etc, I have worked abroad and used AirBNB for a short stay of a few days.

                              The house has no living room, so tenants stick very much to their selves, all bills are included in the rent.

                              Most of my tenants stay for long periods, average of about 3 years (longest has been 5 and 7 years), because they trust me as a good landlord, and to do the right thing by them. If I felt it was a poor decision I wouldn't do it.

                              We are considering splitting the property into flats however, so it may become a kitchen instead, my tenants will most likely continue to be accommodated in the new flats.


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