What is a HMO Property?
A HMO Property is a house of multiple occupation. This is where 3 or more households occupy the property, either on a single tenancy agreement or individual room lets. HMO Properties can be as basic as 3 people sharing a flat or a large house with 10 or more letting rooms for example.
The legislation all gets a little confusing as some HMO properties do require licensing and others don’t. This will vary according to the local authorities, as some areas such as Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council have “Additional HMO licensing”. This is often referred to as C4 licensing which is mainly aimed at student properties.
There are currently two types of HMO licenses. These are “Mandatory” and “Additional”.
Mandatory HMO License
Mandatory HMO licensing is for Houses in Multiple Occupation. Essentially, this relates to properties of three or more storeys and is occupied by five or more people who form two or more households. So not one single family. A licence for the property is required under the Mandatory HMO licensing scheme.
Additional HMO Licence
Various local authorities have introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme. This will cover all HMOs (excluding those subject to Mandatory Licensing). It relates to a property which is rented to three or more people, forming two or more households.
In both cases, the Landlord will have to apply to the local authority and pay an application fee. This will vary depending on the number of bedrooms at the property. It’s also worth noting that the issuing of the license is at the council’s discretion. Therefore, Landlords will need to ensure they have met the criteria needed.
HMO licenses last for a maximium of 5 years. After this, the Landlord will have to renew accordingly.