Do I need an HMO licence for my Wandsworth House?

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    Do I need an HMO licence for my Wandsworth House?

    I have a buy to let property in Wakehurst Road, SW11. I have let this house to single families since 2006 but have just accepted an offer from a group of five young-professionals who are unrelated and who would like to move in June 2019. They will be renting the house as a single, 5-bedroom property and have all signed the same AST. I want to check if I will need an HMO licence? - I have tried calling and emailing WBC with no reply and looking at their website is unclear. If I do need a licence will I need to have the licence approved before these new tenants move in? Any help much appreciated, thanks


    #2
    Yes...................................
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      That will create an HMO that will need to be licenced (and, obviously, satisfy the requirements for safety etc - which a private residential property won't have had to in the past).
      You may have to carry out some fairly significant alterations to pass the fire safety requirements, so I'd start with those.

      To be fair to them, the Wandsworth Council web site is about as clear as it gets (http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/info/20...occupation_hmo)

      You won't receive a licence for some time, so you should probably at least apply for one as soon as possible.

      While this is simply a matter of personal opinion (and nothing to do with what you asked) having 5 unconnected young professionals on a single joint tenancy is simply a recipe for stress - because one of them will forever be moving out or in with one of the others.
      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).

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks very much for your responses which I really appreciate. I suspected that I would need a licence but was confused one of the qualifying criteria on the WBC site 'At least three tenants live there, forming more than one household' - given that these 5 people are on one AST and are known to each other I was not sure if they could be considered one household and therefore fall outside of the HMO requirements.

        I did try calling and emailing the private housing team at WBC but no joy. Btw the reason I asked them to sign one AST is because they are all known to each other (old school friends) - hopefully they'll remain friends for a while.. I will apply for the licence now and thanks again for your responses

        Comment


          #5
          The legislation defines household in terms of blood relationships. I think the most distant allowed connection is nephew/niece.

          The idea it is trying to capture is whether the people would look after each others interests, particularly in an emergency, and also be likely to do things together, at the same time (so less likely to have someone sleeping whilst another is doing something high risk).

          A genuine situation where the people are all pre-existing friends tends to be considered on the safe side for HMOs, so whilst you will need a licence, the fire safety requirements would be less than for individual lets, and should be less than for a group forming just to share the house.

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            #6
            If I were you I would download the licence criteria and get on with any changes you need to implement now, (interlinked smoke detectors, fire doors etc)

            Comment


              #7
              great, thanks for this additional information.

              Comment


                #8
                Going slightly off from the question , but have you sought the consent from the lender given that you are now operating it as an HMO remembering that not all lenders have this niche type of letting within their criteria, also your insurers will need to be advised of the change in Letting arrangements for the property.

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