Tenant Couple with 2 Lodgers - Is this a HMO?

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    #31
    Well, ummm... so let's say the owner (there are two landlords - the owner is your landlord then you are the landlord of your lodgers) accepts he's liable for licensing: Great, wonderful: But then the owner either does nothing or tells the council incorrect info (eg "I rent to a couple so it's not a HMO is it..). Then council find our reality, decide (for whatever reason..) to pursue you and you end up with fines and perhaps a rent repayment order to repay your lodger's rent. Do't think you'd be happy...
    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...

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      #32
      No, we'd be the opposite of happy but surely the landlord knowing the situation and admitting to me (in writing) that he takes responsibility then means that whatever he tells the council doesn't matter as he has told me otherwise.

      It is literally written into our AST that he makes more rent money depending on how many rooms we have rented out in a given month.

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        #33
        Originally posted by doobrey View Post
        This is the post I referred to earlier on in the thread. Basically we include bills in the rent we charge to lodgers. This would mean that we receive the bulk of the money (as we charge for the bills) but when you discount the bills, the landlord takes the bulk of the money.

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          #34
          One of the "many" regulations relating to all HMOs is that managers name and address is clearly displayed in the property, so someone would have to accept the role to be 100% compliant.

          The biggest risk is the failure to properly assess the fire safety requirements of the property.
          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).

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            #35
            Thanks for that point. In the lodger agreement, we always put the landlords address so I guess that would count?

            As for the fire regulations, we have smoke alarms and are going to get fire extinguishers after the points raised here just to be safe. Do these fire regulations still stand in a house that isn't overcrowded and only has 3 bedrooms/2 floors?

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              #36
              Originally posted by Deiseman View Post
              Thanks for that point. In the lodger agreement, we always put the landlords address so I guess that would count?
              No, it has to be given to the occupants as well.
              The requirement is that the manager's "name, address and any telephone contact number" are "clearly displayed in a prominent position" within the HMO.

              As for the fire regulations, we have smoke alarms and are going to get fire extinguishers after the points raised here just to be safe. Do these fire regulations still stand in a house that isn't overcrowded and only has 3 bedrooms/2 floors?
              Yes - they stand because it's an HMO.

              The actual requirement is that "The manager must take all such measures as are reasonably required to protect the occupiers of the HMO from injury, having regard to—
              (a)the design of the HMO; (b)the structural conditions in the HMO; and (c)the number of occupiers in the HMO."

              What that means in English, is that the risks in the building, especially fire should be formally assessed by a qualified person and the recommendations implemented. The solutions need to be specific to the actual building.

              Pretty much invariably that means that the fire alarms are hard wired and interconnected, there are heat detector(s) in the kitchen and that the internal doors are much more fire retardant than those you'd find in a residential property.
              Fire escape routes will need to be kept clear and, usually, external doors fitted with locks that can be easily opened from inside.

              The HMO regulations are quite specific, and the fines for non-compliance can be quite large - it's not a question of being a decent landlord, they're actual laws you have to comply with.

              And they're very hard for a tenant to comply with, because the regulations impose a duty to keep things in repair that you are, probably, not able to keep in repair without your landlord's help (because he has that obligation under your tenancy).
              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).

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                #37
                So your opinion would be that the license is the owner/landlords responsibility because of this. I would also argue that because he is aware of the subletting and makes a financial gain from it, that this makes him entirely responsible. Would you agree?

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                  #38
                  No.
                  Because you are also aware of the issue, benefitting from it and not addressing it.

                  I'd say it was split between the "two" of you,

                  I'm not in any sense able to predict what might happen, though.
                  No one may ever care.
                  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).

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                    #39
                    First things first is to call the council tomorrow and see if they can confirm whether the situation even needs a license. After that we can address the other issues. I did have a look at the license register and there is not one single property licensed with less than 5 people with over 1000 licensed properties.

                    This could mean that people are not bothering with less or it could mean that it's just not needed.

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                      #40
                      Also, just to highlight that the benefit that we get from it is just being able to stay in a house that we like and pick our housemates. We don't end up with free rental as a result and pay more for our room than the other tenants would for each of their rooms.

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                        #41
                        Originally posted by Deiseman View Post
                        First things first is to call the council tomorrow and see if they can confirm whether the situation even needs a license.
                        It is about more than just a licence. See post #21.
                        There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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                          #42
                          Don't worry, I haven't forgotten but first things first

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                            #43
                            The website will tell you whether you need a licence or not.
                            The default position is that you don't, but if the local authority has an additional licence regime in place, you might.

                            The issue isn't anything to do with needing a licence, about which you seem somewhat (oddly) obsessed.
                            It is about whether or not your property is fit to be an HMO - which it clearly isn't.

                            I would be very wary of telling the local authority anything.
                            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).

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                              #44
                              I am just trying to deal with one thing at a time, so for the moment it's the licensing issue. I won't be telling the council about the current situation. I will just be asking them to confirm a few things in a hypothetical situation.

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                                #45
                                I've also looked into the council's HMO rules and regulations. The only thing relating to fire escapes/other regulations is that the escape route must be kept clear. There does not appear to be anything substantial in terms of requirements within my local authority other than maintaining a safe household.

                                It does obviously talk about safety certificates for the gas and electrical installations. The boiler received one a few months ago so will into the electrical safety cert. All of this is accepted by the owner as his responsibility.

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