Licensing considerations when purchasing an HMO

Licensing considerations when purchasing an HMO

When purchasing a house in multiple occupation (HMO) property, there are several licensing considerations you should keep in mind:

  1. Current licensing status: check if the property already has an HMO licence. If not, you will need to apply for one after the purchase. If the property has a current HMO licence an application must be lodged along with specific documentation. This must be done within a specific timescale after the purchase has been completed.
  2. Local regulations: familiarise yourself with HMO licensing requirements in the area where the property is located. Each council may have its own set of regulations and standards. When purchasing an HMO property, the HMO licence may have specific conditions attached. It is important to fully understand these conditions as these could apply to any prospective tenants you lease the property to.
  3. Property condition: assess the property’s condition and ensure it meets the necessary safety and habitability standards required for an HMO licence.  This may include fire safety measures, sanitation facilities, and room sizes.
  4. Due diligence: Checking that all certifications have been updated and regulated accurately is a crucial element when purchasing an HMO property. If there are any issues with the licence this could jeopardise the application lodged with the Council post purchase. Our team has a keen eye for ensuring that all certification is in line with what the will Council expects from HMOoperators.
  5. Number of tenants: determine the maximum number of tenants the property can accommodate based on its size and layout. Exceeding this limit without proper licensing can result in penalties.
  6. Management responsibilities: understand the responsibilities associated with managing an HMO property, including maintenance, safety inspections, and tenant management.
  7. Financial considerations: factor in the cost of obtaining and renewing an HMO licenceas well as any necessary property modifications to meet licensing requirements.
  8. Legal compliance: ensure compliance with all relevant landlord and tenant laws including regulations related to tenancy agreements, rent collection, and eviction procedures.
  9. Professional advice: consider seeking advice from legal experts or property management professionals with experience in HMO properties to navigate the licensing process and ensure compliance with regulations. Within Gilson Gray, our Licensing and Lettings teams work cohesively on all HMO properties which are under our management as this ensures certification and renewals are handled timeously and efficiently.

By considering these factors you can make an informed decision when purchasing an HMO property and ensure compliance with licensing requirements. To licence a house in multiple occupations you typically need to apply to the local council where the property is located. The process may vary slightly depending on the council, but generally, you will need to provide information about the property, its management, and any relevant safety measures in place. It is advisable to directly contact your local council or visit their website for specific guidance and application forms related to HMO licensing.

To speak to our Licensing solicitor please contact Karen Gatherum by email To speak to our Lettings team please contact Sam Paulo

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