Unknowing HMO law breaking

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    Unknowing HMO law breaking

    Hi,

    If I am renting out an unlicensed HMO property and there is a greater amount of people living there than allowed. But this is not to mine or the estate agent's knowledge, who would be culpable and would any consequences be on the tenants

    Thank you

    #2
    How many occupants are there?
    How many of them are tenants?
    What does their tenancy agreement(s) say about other occupants / subletting?
    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


      #3
      4 Occupants, 3 tenants but two are related, and the agreement states that there is no subletting or extra occupancies allowed

      Comment


        #4
        If there are three tenants in two households, it was already an HMO.
        So you are responsible, the additional person simply makes an existing problem worse.

        It may not need a licence, but all of the basic HMO regulations apply.
        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


          #5
          If the tenants have made it licensable then I think that in theory they would have the liability, but this may not stop the additional tenants aiming a Rent Repayment Order in your direction. You may also find that your insurance is invalid and that Council penalties end up affecting your property. You should apply immediately to the Council for a Temporary Exemption Notice while you evict the tenants.

          Comment


            #6
            This is the reason not to let to anyone where it looks like the property could conceivably become HMO. Cuts out a lot of perfectly good tenants who have to find somewhere else to stay.

            They are related but the key question is are they having sex and sleeping in the same bed. The government wants to know who is sleeping with who, so you should send the relevant questionnaires. If it's a nightly orgy you should be fine.

            Comment


              #7
              A landlord may be liable (fines, criminal offence..) if there is statutory overcrowding he knows about (you clearly know there are too many people there..) and he hasn't done anything sensible about it.

              You should serve s8g12 TODAY & an s21 if it would be valid. And contact the council informing them of what is happening so they don't decide to come after you. And write to tenants instructing them they must cease and desist from breaking contract over this matter.

              I'd be inclined to verbally inform tenants that you are informing tax-man & benefits agencies of their extra income - unless they sort it out within 5 days. Grass 'em up anyway, it's easy.

              How often to you/agent make inspections resulting in written reports, please?
              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


                #8
                I'd say the big questions here are:

                - did you detect the situation as soon as a competent manager of an HMO should done?

                - have you acted expediently, and to the limits of your powers, to rectify the situation?

                - should you have expected this to happen?

                Comment


                  #9
                  It hasn't become an HMO, it always was one.
                  3 tenants in two households is an HMO - and unless the local authority has a very unusual policy, the increase to 4 isn't going to change anything.
                  If there's an additional licensing scheme in place, it would have always applied.
                  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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    It hasn't become an HMO, it always was one.
                    3 tenants in two households is an HMO - and unless the local authority has a very unusual policy, the increase to 4 isn't going to change anything.
                    If there's an additional licensing scheme in place, it would have always applied.
                    maybe so but there are fines in place for licensable HMOs (5 people or more) but for non licensable HMOs.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Assuming you meant "not for non licensable HMO's", you are wrong.
                      Not complying with HMO regulations can result in fines.
                      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

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