House of Multiple Occupancy or better known as HMO, is where 3 or more tenants occupy a property that are not from the same household (like a family). They share the common areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.
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Your local council will confirm whether your HMO needs to be licenced if you are unsure. Generally, HMO properties require a licence when the following are true:
- The property is rented to 3 or more tenants who form more than one household
- Some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom and/or the kitchen facilities
- One or more of the tenants pay rent
If your property is smaller or rented to fewer people it may still need a licence and this should always be checked with the local council to be sure.
Every HMO licence will be valid for 5 years and there is a fee involved. If you employ a managing agent, they can take care of this for you.
Conditions set will be council dependant and can change at any time so be sure to stay in the loop.
Failure to obtain a licence is a criminal offence and you can be issued a fine of an unlimited amount. Always check if a licence is already in place before purchasing a HMO, or know that one must be obtained before rental.
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