Neighbour complaints about HMO

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    Neighbour complaints about HMO

    I have a HMO next door to me, 5 flats to be exact, each of the tenants that have been put in these flats have had mental health problems or been care leavers, subsequently I have had years of problems from every tenant they have ever put in these and there is quite a turnover. I have got crime numbers from incidents pertaining to virtually every tenant they have put in there, the owner puts the onus on my to sort it out like giving me the carers numbers etc and we have managed to sort quite a lot of issues, but she does not look after the property, I have to go in and clean the garden up as I work from home and have people visiting me there and the property always looks a disgrace. The owner uses a disreputable, but very large agent to get tenants, so they don't do proper checks. How can I put a complaint in about this HMO? Its on the Wirral and what is ironic is I am an accredited landlord myself and people like this are just giving everyone a bad name. I can't find much out on the internet, I think it may be possible to complain on mismanagement, noise nuisance and antisocial behaviour, but have not come across anything specific. Can anyone please give me any advice?

    #2
    An HMO should be licensed/registered with local Council
    Contact your local Cllr and enlist his support. also adult mental health dept.
    With various crime numbers, the Police may also provide info to the Cllr et al

    As landlords we know how difficult it can be to affect tenants' habits when they can't/don't want to comply.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by sansan8 View Post
      ...she does not look after the property, I have to go in and clean the garden up as I work from home and have people visiting me there and the property always looks a disgrace. ...I can't find much out on the internet, I think it may be possible to complain on mismanagement, noise nuisance and antisocial behaviour, but have not come across anything specific.
      In terms of the individual behaviour of the tenants, the legal situation is the same as if the tenants were owner-occupiers; the landlord isn't responsible for their anti-social behaviour.

      The short answer is that you need to contact the local authority.

      You can complain to them about noise nuisance, and anti-social behaviour. See Wirral council's ASB webpage, and noise nuisance page.

      And if it's a licensable HMO, the council grants the licences, so presumably can take them away, too.

      What might also be of help is s.215 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 - link here.

      215. (1) If it appears to the local planning authority that the amenity of a part of their area, or of an adjoining area, is adversely affected by the condition of land in their area, they may serve on the owner and occupier of the land a notice under this section.
      (2) The notice shall require such steps for remedying the condition of the land as may be specified in the notice to be taken within such period as may be so specified.


      In plain English, this means that owners of eyesores can be served notice by the council to clean up their act, (and prosecuted and fined if they don't comply).

      The definition of 'land' in the Act under section 336 'Interpretations' includes buildings - viz. '"land" means any corporeal hereditament including a building' - so it can apply to pretty much anything, from front gardens full of rubbish, to badly maintained buildings that lend a depressing air to a street. Anything with an adverse effect on the amenity of an area.

      There is published guidance for local authorities encouraging them to be pro-active in the serving of such notices, because they are apparently extremely effective (80% compliance upon serving notice). You can download the guidance here. It should give you some ammunition.

      If your council is anything like mine, you may need to be persistent to ensure they stay on the case. Contact your local councillor if you think you're getting fobbed off.

      Comment


        #4
        If its 5 flats it wont require a mandatory HMO licence and I cant see that Wirrals website say they are doing additional or selective licensing. However a quick look at their website gives an email address and phone number.

        Details top right just contact them. If you dont want to do this, just speak to the accreditation team I am sure they would pass it onto the correct people.

        Comment


          #5
          Sorry but i'm a little confused. You say flats but you also say HMO. As far as i am aware it can't be both at the same time.

          The other posts are very good, but it may be worth while finding out if it's a HMO or 5 flats before you start a complaint. If there are 5 rooms where they are sharing some facilities such as Kitchen or bathroom then its pretty likely to be a HMO or HiMO. And if its over three floors then it should surely need to be licensed with the local authority.

          If each flat has it's own kitchen/bathroom and toilet and key to the flat door then its almost certainly not a HMO and that's a different matter. Although he may not have planning permission or building regs for flats and that's naughty.

          In the case of a licensed HMO usually the landlord has to prove that he is not a criminal and is no threat to the tenants. If it's mental health persons in the house then i would have thought the council will be quite strict on the houses management.

          Listen out for fire alarms too, if you never hear any (they should be tested occasionally) then that may be a warning that the building is not up to spec.

          As for cleaning the gardens....be careful as you shouldn't be on there property without permission. Also if you clean it once then you'll end up cleaning it forever as you are not costing the landlord anything and of course you are welcome at any of my HMO's to clean the gardens.

          I would consider putting up a higher fence to hide their mess from your visitors, but make it something they can't burn, or break. Or do what i do....keep moving around and turning my houses into HMO's when i have abusive or noisy neighbours.
          Good luck.
          I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by HMO Landlord View Post
            Sorry but i'm a little confused. You say flats but you also say HMO. As far as i am aware it can't be both at the same time.
            Wrong.
            In 'House in Multiple Occupation', the word 'house' can include 'flat- i.e. a flat can be multiply occupied too.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
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            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
              Wrong.
              In 'House in Multiple Occupation', the word 'house' can include 'flat- i.e. a flat can be multiply occupied too.
              Yes Jeffrey is correct with the legal jargon in that a flat can exist as an HMO as you could have 3 people or more from two households in one flat which would then warrant using the term HMO.

              But i don't think that will help you at this moment. It's not the wording flat, HMO, house I was trying to pin down but what is actually happening within the property. Then we can define what class of dwelling it is. The way I see it is, do any of us really know if it is a HMO or a collection of 5 self contained flats yet? Unless i missed something, i don't know if we have really established that.

              But in my previous post I meant in context with your case you need to find out whether the house is 5 separate flats with no shared facilities at all where each tenant has sole use of there own facilities, or are there 5 people sharing facilities such as bathroom, toilet or kitchens, which would be an HMO. Really i suppose i'm trying to get you to gather the correct information about the property so you can complain more efficiently to the council. Forewarned being forearmed of course.

              That a gold star for me if Jeffrey only picked up on that point, i'm sure he'll get me later, or in a few minutes


              I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.
              I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.

              Comment


                #8
                Correct me if I am wrong, but 5 flats with on one tenant in each would still be HMO if the conversion to flats did not meet the standards as set out in the 1991 building regs.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I do remember something like that. Someone else may be able to help on that.. i see your point too. Maybe we will never know if it really is a HMO or not. Not that the poster asked to know if it was an HMO, i thought it may help if handing a complaint to the council.

                  I would like to think that if the property is housing people with mental health issues then planning, building regs, licenses and all health and safety should be in place correctly.

                  So errors there could be used to help the original poster of the thread complain to the council (well at least back up a complaint if the information comes to light).


                  I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.
                  I may be vague but if it starts you off in the right direction then we are on a winner.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Steve C View Post
                    Correct me if I am wrong, but 5 flats with on one tenant in each would still be HMO if the conversion to flats did not meet the standards as set out in the 1991 building regs.
                    You are not wrong Steve, in fact you are very much correct. Under the Housing Act 2004, sec257 describes these types of converted blocks of flats that consist solely of self contained flats.

                    Comment

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