HMO Application

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    HMO Application


    Does anyone have any experience with converting a property into an HMO in London?

    I was hoping someone could share some knowledge of the application processes. I understand that each London Borough has different requirements for converting to HMO's and I was wandering if anyone could provide some insight into which boroughs are more likely to accept HMO applications.

    Are there any particular factors I should be aware of that can affect an HMO application?

    I look forward to your responses,

    HMO regulations are implemented differently by each council and so no general advice can be given as to what your home will require.
    You should consult your local council's HMO department, who can provide you with the full requirements for your property' type & location.
    You may be able to see general requirements on your council's website.

    Here are some elements which are often required.

    Valid gas safety certificate (always)
    Valid electrical inspection certificate from a recognised body (such as NAPIT or NICEIC) (always)
    Fire doors
    Emergency lighting
    Smoke alarms (preferably interlinked & connected to mains)
    Heat detectors
    Minimum room sizes for all habitable rooms
    Inspections to validate compliance
    You need to be someone without criminal convictions

    You should also have a fire risk assessment carried out too. Some councils don't ask for this or even mention it.

    You may be able to apply for a HMO license online with your council. But if you do this, you need to be sure that you have ALL your documents ready and that any work that was required has been done before you apply.
    If you apply online and do not have any of the required documents, the council may give you time to have the work done.

    The flexibility/accommodation that you may get for what needs doing and the time they will give you to do it in, varies from council to council.
    I think however, since councils are much more interested in getting this new source of, mostly unjustified, revenue, they are more likely to give you time, than punish you for something that you haven't done when they want it.
    However, repeated failures to meet the council's requirement may be met by them with more forceful/threatening responses.

    I would try to establish a good rapport with your council's HMO department (if you can), like meeting them face to face at their offices, or at site inspections, since they are just people too doing a job and since the regulations have clearly been left to each council's interpretation with leeway/flexibility being implied by such a setup, the personnel in each HMO department will vary in their conduct/demands for your property, depending on A,B,C, X,Y, Z.


      Make sure you don't pick one that has an Article 4 Directive in place, such as Barnet


        Most councils will have Article 4 directives. Not all of them relate to HMOs and not all of them apply to the whole area managed by the council.

        As it happens, Barnet has one that dis-applies C3 to C4 conversion (single family to small HMO) throughout the borough, but it also has ones that dis-apply the right to convert commercial to residential, but only for the main town centres.

        The OP hasn't told us if the property would be a C4 or a sui generis HMO. The latter always require planning consent.


          HMO license
          Its a licence in the UK when a noun, only with an s when a verb or adjective , ie he licensed, or licensed premises


            Thank you all for your responses, they are all very informative.

            Mogino, thank you for providing the elements within a Change of Use application. In a hypothetical situation in which I have a property that I wish to convert from C3 (Dwelling Houses) to C4 (Small HMO) and I have complied with all of the requirements that you outlined, do you know whether it is still possible for a council to reject my application. And if so, on what grounds would they be likely to do this?

            Does anyone know whether councils that have Article 4 Directives in place have a certain quota for HMO applications? For example if they have had an exceptionally large number of HMO applications in one year, would they be likely to limit the number of applications they approve the following year?

            DPT57, you mentioned that it is worth avoiding trying to convert a property to an HMO in Barnet. Is this because they have a particularly strict application process?

            How can I find out which Boroughs have Article 4 Directives?


              Originally posted by GyasiW View Post
              How can I find out which Boroughs have Article 4 Directives?
              Local Authority Housing and Planning web pages.
              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).


                Barnet has an article 4 directive in place regarding ce to c4 usage. You can google other councils. Your assumption should be that any council that has this doesnt want ANY more HMOs in the borough for the foreseeable future


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