Will Taking in a Lodger or two Create an HMO?

It’s not a simple yes or no answer like most things in life. It can be a little complex but it’s vital you understand what you need to know before taking any steps forwards with HMO property, so let’s unpack it so you are clear on where you stand.Here goes…A building occupied by the owner has limited exclusion. The owner’s household, in other words their direct family, is excluded plus another 2 persons. So for example, if you take in a couple of family members, plus a cousin and even an au pair you will not be classed as a HMO. It is family and you are on the right side of the law.However, if you take in three non-family lodgers, even though it is less people your property will be classed as an HMO.Furthermore, if you there are 5 or more people living on 3 or more floors from 2 or more households (regardless of what you call them – tenants, lodgers etc.) then your property will be classed as an HMO and you will be subject to mandatory licensing.You can find the definition of a HMO in sections 254 and 257 of the Housing Act 2004.Keeping on the right side of the law in this area is absolutely vital, if not you are open to the following…
  1. Failure to comply with a duty set out in the Management of HMO Regulations 2006 is a criminal offence and liable to a £5,000 fine per individual duty.
  2. If a landlord operates an unlicensed HMO, this is a criminal offence and a fine of up to £20,000 is payable.
  3. A breach of any conditions of the licence is £5,000 per individual condition.
 If you are not sure where you stand or how to move forwards talk to us at Nick Fox Property Mentoring. We specialise in HMO property and we are here to help!

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