Purpose Built Rental property in Hackney. Hackney don't seem to know the answer!!

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    Purpose Built Rental property in Hackney. Hackney don't seem to know the answer!!

    So I own an ex local authority flat that is managed by an estate agent. The flat is rented to five sharers. The property is purpose built and the building management is Hackney council.

    There is no information regarding statutory exemptions on the Hackney site, it was removed. A neighbouring borough tower hamlets openly say that a purpose built block with with 3 or more self contained units is exempt from HMO and they give an example exactly the same as mine stating it would not need the license. Can someone tell me whether they think exemptions apply please. I have been told different things after phoning the council. Today told I need mandatory, previously told I need additional and previous to that the property was exempt. Please help!

    Here's the TH info.


      The flat itself is a HMO (assuming they are unrelated ) and must comply with requirements, surely: Or have I misunderstood? A family no.

      What do you wish to be able to ignore. Consider terrible fire, enquiry....

      I can't read image
      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...


        image.png Ok, so just for clarification I have a wired in alarm system, emergency lighting system, approved fire resistant doors, extinguishers, blankets and everything else in place to meet hmo regulations.

        my question is which and if a license is applicable. My understanding is that on purpose built flats with three or more self contained units a HMO license isn't necessary. Further more scedule 14 of the 2004 act implies that a building managed by the local authority is exempt from the hmo license. Finally I have a document from a bordering borough which states quite clearly that an ex local purpose build with five tenant would not require a license. Hope that clears things up.


        Top of page 2 You will see the exemption I'm talking about at the top of page 2.


          Whilst my ability to read blurred fine print is obviously less than yours, a search for the council's guidelines on flats which are HMOs produced clear confirmation that your flat require a licence.


            Not sure if this helps but here is an extract of what constitutes an HMO so far as Hackney Council is concerned; in fairness to the Council their web site and eligibility of properties in multi occupation is quite good, far better than most that I have come across.
            Reading the text and noting the number of occupants within the property it does indicate a requirement for a licence.
            • Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
            Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) can offer good quality affordable accommodation to people who cannot afford to buy their own homes and are not eligible for housing by the Council.

            A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is defined as:
            • an entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
            • a house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities
            • a converted house which contains one or more flats which are not completely self contained (ie the flat does not have a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households
            • a building (or part of a building) which is converted entirely into self-contained flats, if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations, and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies
            • in order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants' only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants - properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties used as domestic refuges


              Thank you Leaseholder for coming back to me. My only query is the statutory exemptions. Scedule 14 of the 2004 housing act states that buildings with la managing and controlling are exempt. I guess this would make sense as the council aren't going to want to pay for licenses for all the units that they own. Secondly I want to confirm if it's an additional license requests as the flat falls into a purpose built block with three or more self contained flats the mandatory criteria doesn't apply from the research. An email has been sent to Hackney but again I've had a different response everything. The problem is I get through to someone who has been told what to say and isn't actually on the licensing team so they don't know the legalities of it. If I get the wrong license and the inspection team come the fines are still applicable.


                Where does it say that properties with letting agent managing and controlling are exempt?
                The person managing an HMO is responsible for the licensing - if that's the agent, it just means that the agent would need a licence, not that it's exempt.

                You have misunderstood the exemption for three or more self-contained flats, even though people have tried to correct you.
                You don't have three or more self-contained flats, you have one flat which sounds like a licensable HMO to me.

                The exemption is to exclude flats where there are enough residents to form an HMO, but, because they're living in separate properties, don't live in one home.
                One flat on its own can't be excluded by this exemption.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                  It is subject to mandatory licensing!


                    Thanks for all your input, I know it sounds like I'm repeating myself. But this is directly from tower hamlets website.

                    "WHAT WILL BE EXCLUDED?
                    As with all these things, some HMOs which meet the above definition may be excluded from mandatory licensing, in particular:

                    Purpose Built, multi occupied flats in a block 3+
                    A purpose-built flat in multiple occupation situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats. In Tower Hamlets, almost all purpose built blocks of flats contain more than three flats in the block as the Local Authority undertook a project post war to regenerate and create Social Housing.

                    Therefore, if you are renting out a FLAT or MAISONETTE in multiple occupation, with 5 or more occupiers, within an ex-local authority block of purpose built flats, you will NOT be required to licence the flat. "

                    This an exact example of my situation. So please help me understand where I am mistaken.

                    Full text here.



                      My understanding is that what you have described is NOT a statutory HMO. The 2018 changes specifically preclude flats in purpose built blocks of 3 or more. See: 2.3 b) https://assets.publishing.service.go...s_guidance.pdf

                      I don't know why this exemption was introduced and makes no sense to me, but it seems clear enough in the documentation.

                      I haven't checked whether Hackney have Additional Licensing in your area.


                        Hackney is not Tower Hamlets!

                        All recent legislation has regulatory impact statements, which explain the intended impact. In this case, it is https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/...0180038_en.pdf

                        Unfortunately, it only really seems to say that they are considered low risk. My guess would be that purpose built flats are built to high fire safety standards and generally have someone responsible for the management who is not normally the rogue landlords of the FMO.


                          Well this is an ex local authority building and the building is managed and under the control of Hackney Council.

                          I understand that Hackney is not Tower Hamlets. I was using the Tower Hamlets example to clarify the purpose built, multi occupation flat, with in a block containing 3plus flats. My flat clearly fits this and inline with this the mandatory HMO doesn't apply.

                          Now i I need to work out if an additional HMO applies as buildings managed by local authorities are exempt from additional licensing.



                            appendix 4 has the relevant exemptions to the additional licensing scheme.

                            "The following types of premises are exempt from the HMO definition and Additional Licensing Scheme:

                             Buildings controlled or managed by public sector bodies etc;
                             Buildings regulated by other specified Acts; "



                              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                              My guess would be that purpose built flats are built to high fire safety standards and generally have someone responsible for the management who is not normally the rogue landlords of the FMO.
                              You mean like Grenfell Tower?


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