Key Considerations When Letting HMOs

Business Blog

If you're letting out a property to multiple tenants, forming more than one household, then you'll need to stay on top of the guidelines for HMOs - houses in multiple occupation. You'll need ensure your property is suitable for multiple occupation before applying for a license from your local council. If you don't do this, you'll risk hefty fines.

Making sure you follow all the guidelines from the start will prevent you from running into costly and time-consuming problems further down the line. Read on for all the details on letting out an HMO.  

Is your property classed as an HMO?

Your property is considered an HMO if it's being let to three or more tenants who are part of separate households, but share living facilities. For example, a house share with three bedrooms, each occupied by individual tenants, who all share a kitchen, bathroom and living room, would be considered an HMO. A house rented to a single family of four, all part of the same household, would not be an HMO. Be sure you're clear on the rules, and contact your local council if you have any doubts. Renting out an HMO without being properly licensed can lead to fines and legal action in the future.

How do I get an HMO license?

In order to license your property as an HMO, you must follow certain conditions. The house must be made fit for the number of occupants. This means considering the suitability of the size of the property and its facilities for the number of tenants residing there. You will need to ensure that adequate kitchen and bathroom facilities are available. There should be room for the storage, cooking and preparation of food by all tenants in the kitchen. In the bathroom/s, there should be an appropriate number of washing facilities - sinks, baths, and showers.

You must also ensure the safety of the property by installing smoke alarms and keeping these in good working condition. The gas safety certificate for the property must be updated each year and a copy sent to your local council. All electrical appliances in the property must have valid safety certificates. These conditions need to be met at all times, and it's important to keep on top of all the safety documentation for the property.

What if I'm letting out several HMOs?

If you're letting out several properties that class as HMOs then you'll need a license for each of them. Licenses are valid for up to 5 years and must be renewed before they run out.

If this isn't a process you're comfortable with, keep in mind that using an agency to handle the property letting is also an option. 

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18 August 2016

Expanding our business

We have a successful cafe and have been contemplating the next move for our business. We've already grown a lot, so now we aren't sure whether to expand the existing site or whether we should start a second site across town — there are pros and cons to both options. I spent a lot of time looking at case studies of other successful cafes and restaurants to see how we should make that decision and whether it's better to have a single large or multiple smaller sites. This blog is all about working out the best ways to expand a successful business and has some tips we have learnt as we have gone through our decision-making process.