Applying For First HMO Licence

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    Applying For First HMO Licence

    I own a property in an area that requires additional HMO licensing. The 4-bed house has been let to a family but they are now moving out and all the responses I have had to my advert have been from groups of 4, so it looks like I am going to need to apply for a licence. I have been unable to get through to anyone at the council but I have done some reading up online but find that it is not always very specific.

    I am confused about a few things and I wonder if anyone could help with any of the following?

    1. The application form asks for documents such as fire and electrical safety certificates. Other than an EICR can anyone tell me what else I would need to provide?

    2. It also asks for details of any fire precautions - what fire precautions would I likely need to take to satisfy the licensing criteria?

    3. I spoke to an electrician about having hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms installed to replace the existing battery operated ones and he told me that I would need one on the hallway/landing of each floor, one in the kitchen and one in each bedroom. He also suggested I would probably need emergency lighting installed. I had not read anywhere about needing smoke alarms inside bedrooms - could anyone please advise me on this?

    4. Is there any difference in requirements between a group of friends on one AST (which will be my case) and individuals renting a room on separate tenancy agreements?

    5. Do I have to have all the work done before submitting the application?

    6. Do I need to wait for the outcome of the application before letting it out?

    Sorry for all the questions but many thanks in advance for any advice.



    #2
    Your local authority licence requirements will probably be more stringent than the basic legal requirements for an HMO.

    You need to check out their requirements, because you'll need to meet them to get a licence.

    The most basic requirement is to have a competent person carry out a fire risk assessment, which will answer your first three questions and give you some idea of how much work there is in getting the property to a level where it can be let as an HMO. It's likely to be extensive.

    4 -- If the agreement is with a group they will be responsible for the council tax, but it's inflexible if they fall out or one needs to move out. If it's room by room rental, it's much more flexible, but you'll have to pay the council tax - and probably the utilities.

    5 - Probably.

    6 - Ask the council, but normally not, the council may take months and months.

    Running an HMO is not for the faint hearted.
    I've been letting for some time and I'd never consider it.
    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
      The fire risk assessment will most likely recommend fire doors with closers be fitted to all bedrooms and kitchen and or lounge doors. Fire detectors are needed particularly in bedrooms as tenants have been known to smoke, light candles and dry clothes over electric fires.

      I have run several HMOs and it can be considered similar to remotely managing a small hotel on the wrong side of the tracks. You need to ask why this type of accomodation is suddenly not available in your area.

      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      - Ask the council, but normally not, the council may take months and months.
      or years and years.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AlexR View Post
        You need to ask why this type of accomodation is suddenly not available in your area.
        And why all those groups of 4 are applying to your property.
        Is it because no one else will rent to them?
        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
          Thanks very much for the info.

          Who would I get to do the fire risk assessment? Would this be something arranged by the council?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ABC123 View Post
            Who would I get to do the fire risk assessment? Would this be something arranged by the council?
            It's something you find someone to do and pay them to do it.
            And then you do what they recommend.
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by ABC123 View Post
              Who would I get to do the fire risk assessment? Would this be something arranged by the council?
              Google ' hmo fire risk assessment' and you will find companies that will do this for you. Expect to pay about £200. Try and get a company who know the requirements of your Local Authority . There is one Council ( Sandwell, West Midlands) who will , for a fee visit your HMO and advise - I don't know the costs of this service.

              When I set up my HMOs I used the LACOURS guide and another guide called Home Stamp - a fire protection guide to houses in multiple occupancy. One Local Authority was very helpful and the other almost gave no advice at all but be aware the costs of getting it wrong are great

              Comment


                #8
                To be honest you need to clarify this with your local council in writing as they seem to have slightly differing requirements.

                on the electrics the regs now recommend AFDDs for some circuits in HMOs so it’ll be a C3 IF you have RCD protection. If you don’t have RCD protection you new fuseboard could be around £2k

                fire doors yes

                interlinked smoke alarms yes as above

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ABC123 View Post
                  6. Do I need to wait for the outcome of the application before letting it out?
                  To protect yourself you need to have made a valid HMO licence application before/simultaneous with the tenants moving in.

                  So you do not need to wait for the HMO licence to be granted. Note however: if you move people in you are tying yourself to making any outstanding HMO improvements (so worth having a rough idea of them beforehand in case any will be impossible/very expensive).


                  Comment

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