Will lodgers having frequent guests make it an HMO?

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  • Will lodgers having frequent guests make it an HMO?

    Sorry if I should have started a new thread but this is a variation on the guests question.

    My wife and I have just two lodgers so are just outside the HMO regulations. One of the lodgers has her boyfriend stay 4 nights a week. Does that risk us now being caught up in the HMO regulations?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pureedfruit View Post
    Sorry if I should have started a new thread but this is a variation on the guests question.

    My wife and I have just two lodgers so are just outside the HMO regulations. One of the lodgers has her boyfriend stay 4 nights a week. Does that risk us now being caught up in the HMO regulations?
    Possibly. However it is your house and you call the shots. If you don't want the b/f to stay over (and 4 nights per week does start to look as though he is living there), you are perfectly within your rights to ban him altogether. If your lodger doesn't like it, tough. TBH, unless the boyfriend is paying you for the electricity he uses and gas and the general extra wear and tear he causes, I would say you are being taken for a bit of a mug. Your lodger is a guest in your home and is abusing her position, in my view.

    Do you have a written contract with her - and if so, does it say anything about overnight visitors?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      Whilst agreeing totally with MTG, I think the issue of HMO depends on whether this is the visitors primary residence. In pure 'time' terms, it would appear to be (4 nights at yours, 3 somewhere else) but iirc there is much more to it than that. Things like where his bank account sends post to, where he pays council tax, (where his wife and kids live?!?). I am guessing your home is not his.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        Whilst agreeing totally with MTG, I think the issue of HMO depends on whether this is the visitors primary residence. In pure 'time' terms, it would appear to be (4 nights at yours, 3 somewhere else) but iirc there is much more to it than that. Things like where his bank account sends post to, where he pays council tax, (where his wife and kids live?!?). I am guessing your home is not his.
        I agree, but it's probably academic anyway, isn't it?

        OP may be thinking, 'I can use the fact that that b/f's presence is making it an HMO and breaking the rules to put pressure on my lodger not to let her b/f stay so much', but the point is that OP doesn't need a reason, does he? He can just tell her he doesn't allow overnight guests, full stop. It's his home.

        It might be different if he were a non-resident LL of an HMO...but he isn't.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          The OP may not own the property. He may be a tenant himself.
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bel View Post
            The OP may not own the property. He may be a tenant himself.
            I don't think that changes anything though, does it (except perhaps in OP's favour*)? A lodger is a lodger, not a tenant (even if his LL is a tenant). A loger has little security of tenure and that lodger's hanger-on b/f has even less!

            (*i.e. b/f's presence may well take the property into HMO territory, even if it wasn't before).
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              Going slightly off topic. . .

              If a home owner has more than 2 lodgers, it is a HMO.

              However, if a Tenant (with family) has only 1 lodger then it is occupied by persons who do not form a single household - so would that be a HMO? I know it's not a HMO if 'more than 1 household' is just 2 peeps - but this wouldn't be.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                Going slightly off topic. . .

                If a home owner has more than 2 lodgers, it is a HMO.

                However, if a Tenant (with family) has only 1 lodger then it is occupied by persons who do not form a single household - so would that be a HMO? I know it's not a HMO if 'more than 1 household' is just 2 peeps - but this wouldn't be.
                No, it's based on the concept of a 'household' comprising:

                (i)a single person unrelated by blood rmarital/conjugal relationship to anyone else in the property (e.g. siblings, parents, spouse etc. I think step-siblings and first cousins are counted as related, but no more distant relatives than that).
                (ii) a couple or group of people related to each other e.g. family, co-habiting etc.

                So technically if OP's lodger's bf moved in with her her (ie co-habiting), she and he would still be one household and presumably not take OP into HMO territory (although it may contravene overcrowding rules if the room is not deemed large enough for a couple).

                Which is why OP shouldn't rely on that argument, just put his foot down and boot the blighter out!
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  Sorry MTG, I'm not refering to the OPs case here - just clarifying something in my own head.

                  Do you agree with my first point? If a home owner has more than 2 lodgers, it is a HMO.

                  I am assuming a lodger is not considered part of the landlords household . . . or is he???

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                    Sorry MTG, I'm not refering to the OPs case here - just clarifying something in my own head.

                    Do you agree with my first point? If a home owner has more than 2 lodgers, it is a HMO.

                    I am assuming a lodger is not considered part of the landlords household . . . or is he???
                    Yes, I agree with your first point.

                    Logically, a lodger must not be considered part of a LL's family/household, otherwise a LL could have as many lodgers as he wished and it still wouldn't be an HMO because they would all form one single household. I think the 'two or fewer lodgers + res. LL' rule is an exception to the normal HMO rules. Once you get to three or more lodgers, the rule (plus related fire regs, etc.) kicks in as normal.

                    This link explains it:

                    http://www.lacors.gov.uk/lacors/Cont....aspx?id=15426
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                    • #11
                      Okay, what I am trying to show is the disparity between that situation (say homeowner plus family plus up to 2 lodgers is not a HMO) and:

                      Tenant (with family) with only one lodger, which would be a HMO.

                      The latter involves less unrelated occupants in the same property but requires more rules.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        Okay, what I am trying to show is the disparity between that situation (say homeowner plus family plus up to 2 lodgers is not a HMO) and:

                        Tenant (with family) with only one lodger, which would be a HMO.

                        The latter involves less unrelated occupants in the same property but requires more rules.
                        Perhaps the rationale is that a homeowner has more of a vested interest in ensuring the property is safe and secure than a tenant does...but in practice I cannot think there can be that many tenants who have lodgers, are there?
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          Perhaps the rationale is that a homeowner has more of a vested interest in ensuring the property is safe and secure than a tenant does...but in practice I cannot think there can be that many tenants who have lodgers, are there?
                          The rationale makes sense.

                          I don't think tenants lodgers are that uncommon - I have read numerous threads on here where tenants have taken them to help fund the rent - even cases where the tenant has specifically taken on a bigger property than necessary with the intention of having lodgers - so they can live in a nicer place.

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                          • #14
                            Assured 'council'type tenants are usually permitted to have lodgers.
                            One of my tenants has a lodger to make ends meet. She if of the mentality of any home owner, without the capital, and causes no increased risk.

                            The HMO regs are put in place for a worse case scenario. Their belt and braces approach application is questionable in less risky circumstances. Shades of a sledge hammer to crack a nut. The HMO guidance of the number of lodgers and owners families is an absolute joke, but I suppose they have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

                            What bugs me is the fact that a lot of homes of homeowners are sub-standard in comparison to what many council expect all HMO's to be.

                            Although HMO regs are only applied to HMOs, the HHSRS applies to any home in England/Wales, rented or otherwise. I would think that Environmental Health will generally only get involved in nit picking if there is a tenancy situation.

                            I would love to know what proportion of owner households would fail a HHSRS risk assessment.
                            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bel View Post
                              I would love to know what proportion of owner households would fail a HHSRS risk assessment.
                              Countless thousands, no doubt...but I suppose it is considered that tenants are more vulnerable to LL's negligence/greed than the families of OOs are endangered by the homeowner's carelessness/lack of consideration. It's the 'blood is thicker than water' principle - LLs put a roof over their Ts' heads to make money (and some get greedy); homeowners put a roof over their family's heads because they have an emotional investment in keeping them safe and secure...so they won't let them live in a death trap and if a fire breaks out they will look out for each other. HMO tenants may not - hence the need for greater regulation.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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