Legal requirements for an HMO
Property investing can at times feel a bit like a legal minefield. Knowing that you are on the right side of the law is always worth that bit of extra work.
If your HMO houses less than 5 people, you are subject to the laws of your local authority. For anything larger than this, there are national guidelines that are enforceable by law.
Large HMO legal requirements
If you are renting to five or more individual tenants, then your property is considered to be a Large HMO. Since it has become so popular in the last few years to convert large buildings into these kinds of HMOs, the legal restrictions and penalties relating to this have been increased.
An investor and operator of a large HMO will need to fulfil the following requirements –
These are mandated with the intention that every tenant has a reasonable portion of the property to be able to call their own.
The minimum size for a bedroom is 6.51m sqd. for one person and 10.22m sqd. for a couple.
As well as providing comfortable and spacious living quarters, an HMO also needs to have adequate facilities based on the number of potential tenants. Toilets, kitchen access and showers should be determined adequate for the residents.
One of the biggest concerns with HMOs is fire and health and safety. HMO landlords must be sure to comply with the following –
To maintain the highest industry standards, there are restrictions placed on who is eligible to hold an HMO licence. The minimum standard is referred to as a “fit and proper persons” test and looks at criminal and sometimes financial history.
Potential HMO landlords should not have any record of discrimination or failure to comply with housing and tenancy law. Any unspent convictions for violence or fraud will also result in a failure to pass the fit and proper person’ test.
These measures are put in place to protect the safety of the tenants.
Even after covering all the points above, it is still possible for an HMO license to be called into question. HMO licenses can be revoked due to
The property must be maintained at a reasonable level, with all external areas clean and tidy. Landlords should foster good relationships with the local community.
And if this all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! Hoxton Property handles tenancy and management for our investors, so you don’t have to go through this process alone. You can be sure an HMO investment with us conforms to all required legal standards.
Our housing partners put the tenants first and provide clean, safe and comfortable housing. This means you will never have to be worried about falling foul of any of these regulations.
For the most up to date information on HMO licenses please consult – https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/houses-in-multiple-occupation-hmo