HMO Non Compliant Room Rented. What can I do? What are my rights?

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    HMO Non Compliant Room Rented. What can I do? What are my rights?

    Hi everyone

    I moved to the UK in August 2018 and I'm working in London.

    I was very desperate to find a room in London as they go very quickly

    I came across an agency and they signed me up to a very small room. I believe there are five main issues with my tenancy

    (1) Admin charge of deposit charged but not registered by Landlord
    They took an admin charge to register my deposit (when it was legal and allowed) however I believe they have not actually registered it into a scheme. I have checked all three wesbites and its not on there.

    What is my stance on this? As i am new to this country I do not know what my legal rights are? I have not approached the agency yet just in case this will put me on the back foot in terms of entitlements

    (2) Non Complaint Room Size (single Room)
    The room does not meet the standards of a single bedroom for a HMO property. I would say its about 4 square metres big. Some councils and boroughs guidelines say that 4 square metres is not even enough for a baby in a cot.

    Have the agency illegally rented me a room which is below the standards? Am i entitled the a refund?

    (3) Known and informed by agency its not compliant however BAU rent continues
    Its only until recently that the agency have tried to move me on to another room as "it does not meet the minimum HMO standard" (documented in writing) However its been about 3 months and they still have allowed me to continue to rent the room

    (4) HMO License legitimate?
    Definitely meets the definition of a HMO. I dont think it has a license, otherwise how would they get the license from the council to rent these rooms out. Unless they have altered the floor plan vs. what was submitted

    (5) Shared window with my next door neighbour
    The room i rent (i believe) is a lounge with a middle partition stud wall, either side they have made it into rentable rooms, one of which I am renting.

    I share a window with a lodger who lives on the other side of the partition. The middle partition is connected onto a wall near the room door entrance however this runs to other side of the room. The partition ends right in the centre of the large lounge window. There is a small void gap between the window and studwall so, air, smoke, noise, fire and smell can seep through.

    Temperature can be an issue depending on wether he has the window open or not

    I did not see it at the time of the rental viewing as a curtain was covering the corner of the partition wall and window. I did not think to check

    Own research
    I did contact the local council however they were more concerned about pursuing the matter and fine the landlord up to £20,000.

    There seems to be lots of benefit for the council/goverment to crack down on these types of landlords however zero benefit for the tenant

    I was wondering if any of you could point me in the right direction in terms of my rights as a tenant based on the case above

    I am new to this and do not know what to do next

    Any advise will be greatly appreciated


    Is the HMO licensable? I suspect it is but to be certain there would need to be a least 5 people, but, if additional licensing applies any actual house in multiple occupation will need one.

    Without a licensing requirement, the individual bedroom limits don't apply, however, it is possible that the house as a whole is legally overcrowded. I think he HMO licensing conditions assume every is at least 10 years old,

    Deposits don't have admin charges. If the deposit hasn't been protected you may well be able to sue for 3 time the deposit.

    If the council has found that it is an illegal HMO, you may be able to sue for the return of your rent.

    I'd suggest contacting Shelter.


      I agree with the advice to contact Shelter. You could be in for a large payout at some point - both a deposit penalty and potentially a Rent Repayment Order. However, they sound like a fly-by-night agency and some agencies are little more than criminal outfits with such convoluted ownership/landlord/HMO Management structures that its practically impossible to make any claim stick.


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