Better to let whole house or room-by-room?

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    Better to let whole house or room-by-room?

    i have 6 houses (all good size 3 beds close to town centre) all rented to familys at £525-£575 / month. A tenancy is due to end (tenant leaving) and i am considering renting out this house by room. Does anyone have any advice?
    Considering the house, i think that i could get £70 per room / week - this i guess would include all bills (gas / elec / ctax / water ?)
    if i was to do this would the advice be unfurnished / furnished? to what level
    given current climate i am just exploring ways of getting better returns for the house and this is one that i am considering

    #2
    You would have to get planning permission or you will get in trouble!
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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      #3
      He doesn't have to get planning permission Bel, that's for construction, not letting out.

      You will be liable for the council tax and bills though, and would recharge through the rental price.

      Plus, keep an eye on HMO licensing, the council may have gone for additional licensing in your area. Check their website to see.

      Check your insurance and mortgage details if necessary to see if you are covered/allowed to do this.

      It's a lot more work to let out individual rooms, so just keep that in mind, the turnover and damage to property tend to be a lot higher.

      Comment


        #4
        Attila, I think Bel is right. The following quote is from Brent council's webpage (link provided). I am not sure if you can get round it by letting to people on a single AST, rather than a separate AST for each room. Probably, technically, not. If your neighbours object, as they may do, then there could be a planning permission issue.


        "Planning permission is required to change the use of a building, for example from a family house to a house in multiple occupation."

        http://www.brent.gov.uk/hsgprivat.ns...ed%20Section_3

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          #5
          Yes I have come across this assumption before.

          Please note that planning permission required to alter a house to say bedsits has got NOTHING to do with HMO definition as defined by the Housing Act 2004.

          If for example a landlord sticks up a few internal walls to make a large house into say 5 bedsits, then it may well require planning permission and will be an HMO.

          If a landlord decides to let out rooms on an individual basis, WITHOUT changing any of the layout, then by the Housing Act 2004 it is an HMO but DOESN'T require planning permission. Although it will possibly be licenceable and therefore require some works.

          It's the same with council tax, the definition of HMO for council tax is different from HMO definition under the Housing Act 2004.

          Comment


            #6
            Attila, i appreciate your insight on this matter; you have changed my mindset regarding room lets.

            Years ago a friend had problems with individual room letting in the house next door to them. After they complained to the council, the LL was forced to stop and evict the tenants as the house (a 3 bed) was not registered with the council as an HMO. I suppose now the housing act 2004 has redefined all sharing by friendship groups into a broad HMO catagory, there is no longer a destinction between the more acceptable group lets over the more problematic individual lets, which can be bad news for neighbours.


            I contacted a planning department regarding planning permission :

            My Question: If somebody lets out a residential house (which already complies with HMO standards but has not been listed as an HMO for planning purposes) to a group of 4 sharer friends under one agreement, is there any extra planning permission, or other requirement, needed for the Landlord to let on an individual room basis to individuals who do not know each other, but share facilities?

            Answer As long as there are no more than 6 people living together and they are living as one household (i.e sharing facilities) then planning permission would not be required for a change of use.
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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              #7
              Bel: that sounds right.

              TCPA Use Class C3 (Dwellinghouse) covers residence (whether or not sole or main) used by:
              a. single person;
              b. people living together as a family; or
              c. not more than six residents living together as a single household (inc. where care is provided).

              So use for >6 not-family residents is not in Class C3 but Class C2 (Residential Institution). Changing from C3 to C2 would need planning permission.
              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.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                #8
                yipee ! - that sets my mind at rest too.

                The key here is that
                a) for planning purposes people are members of a single household if they share facilities, under a common agreement,
                but
                b) for HMO definition a household is people with a close family connection.

                So my two storey house with 4 unrelated tenants on a single AST comprises 4 "HMO defined households" living as 1 "planning purposes household" in a HMO that does not need registration or planning consent.

                As I said - yipee ! student lets here I come.

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                  #9
                  I've also thought about letting bedrooms separately in this way to increase returns but i'm confused now.

                  I thought you needed a HMO licence if the property is '3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more people not of the same family'.

                  This is from my 'Which? Renting & Letting' book! I'm not saying it's right but it certainly conflicts with some posts here. Clarification anyone?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by jghomer View Post
                    I've also thought about letting bedrooms separately in this way to increase returns but i'm confused now.

                    I thought you needed a HMO licence if the property is '3 or more storeys and occupied by 5 or more people not of the same family'.

                    This is from my 'Which? Renting & Letting' book! I'm not saying it's right but it certainly conflicts with some posts here. Clarification anyone?
                    1. What you thought: yes re HMO licence, to comply with Housing Act 2004.
                    2. Previous posts: deal with planning legislation, which is not the same.
                    See Attila's post (#5) and my last post 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.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                      #11
                      ah-ha, thanks for clearing that up for me jeffrey :-)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MDM View Post

                        As I said - yipee ! student lets here I come.
                        Let joy be unconfined.


                        I have always thought that I couldn't do it...but now its an option.
                        Personally I think that letting rooms individually should have more restrictions....but when in Rome....
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                          #13
                          I think there is a difference between
                          a) letting rooms individually on separate ASTs and
                          b) letting a whole house to a group of technically unrelated people (eg 4 student friends) on a single AST.

                          This thread has confirmed for me that b) is o.k. and does not require planning consent. However, I don't feel quite so confident about a) and for that reason intend only to let on a single AST.

                          Checking on TV licence regulations - if you let individual rooms on separate ASTs then for their purposes each room is a "dwelling" and would require it's own TV licence if the tenant wished to use a TV in their room. However, on a single AST one licence covers the whole house. Along with right of access to the common parts, one of the subtle differences between room based ASTs and whole house ASTs.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MDM View Post
                            I think there is a difference between
                            a) letting rooms individually on separate ASTs and
                            b) letting a whole house to a group of technically unrelated people (eg 4 student friends) on a single AST.

                            This thread has confirmed for me that b) is o.k. and does not require planning consent. However, I don't feel quite so confident about a) and for that reason intend only to let on a single AST.

                            Checking on TV licence regulations - if you let individual rooms on separate ASTs then for their purposes each room is a "dwelling" and would require it's own TV licence if the tenant wished to use a TV in their room. However, on a single AST one licence covers the whole house. Along with right of access to the common parts, one of the subtle differences between room based ASTs and whole house ASTs.
                            Do you mean that you are not confident about it requiring planning or not?
                            I emailed a local housing department of the Local Authority too
                            "I am not aware of the need for planning permission to change the contracts for your tenants. The house will effectively still be housed in exactly the same way as before, just with different tenancy agreements in place. "
                            You can always contact your own housing department for advice.

                            Or do you mean not confident in how easy it will be to manage? Option b is certainly the best in that case.
                            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                            You can search the forums here:

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think option b) is definitely more manageable and part of my concern about option a) is the additional hassle of running 4 agreements for 1 house - possibly with different start times.

                              However, HMOs aren't that popular with local communities/neighbours as you know from one of the other threads.

                              There is a pressure from some local communities (e.g. the leeds HMO lobby - which I naively thought was an organisation in favour of HMOs) to increase regulation of HMOs and in Northern Ireland I think HMOs of any kind do now (since 2004) require planning consent. In other areas - including Scotland (and I think Harrow) all HMOs are licensable.

                              Option b) is, I think less likely to offend.

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