HMO PROPERTY LICENSING
REKA Property Management helps our clients achieve more profit, time and peace of mind by providing our exclusive end-to-end Reka Property HMO services, which includes planning, developing, setting up and managing House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Together with our expert team we convert existing single dwelling houses into fully regulated HMOs and provide peace of mind full-service HMO management.
Our specialty is everything HMO related. In fact, we do the whole process for HMO’s… “We Plan, Develop and Manage HMOs,” which includes applying for the local Council’s property licensing scheme on our client’s behalf.
WHY IS HMO LICENSING REQUIRED?
HMO Property Licensing Schemes help councils protect private tenants by controlling and monitoring the quality of HMO accommodation.
The HMO licence is provided to ensure that the property:
- is safe for tenants to live in
- is in good condition
- has an adequate number of smoke detectors
- has appropriate fire exits
- has enough sinks, cookers, baths and toilets for the number of tenants
- is well managed
There are three types of HMO licences:
- Mandatory licensing – this applies for large HMOs where there are five or more tenants from two or more households
- Additional licensing – this applies when a council requires smaller sizes of HMOs to be licenced. This may include properties that are occupied by three or four people living together as two or more separate households. This may also include any purpose-built self-contained flats in a block of three or more, or buildings that have been converted into self-contained flats.
- Selective licensing – this is provided at the discretion of a council or borough and can affect properties regardless of the size or number of tenants. Selective licensing may apply to privately rented properties occupied by single households located in specific areas, as is the case in the London Borough of Redbridge. There is no central directory of which council or borough have selective licensing schemes; however, the following London boroughs have selective licensing schemes in place:
- Barking & Dagenham
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- Tower Hamlets & Waltham Forest
It is important to note that failure to apply for a licence can lead to a fine, as it is a criminal offence to let a property that is required to be licensed without applying for an HMO licence.
To check if a property needs to be licenced, you can contact the local council or speak to us about our HMO Licensing service.
WHAT ARE THE LICENSING CONDITIONS?
Each council or borough may have different considerations for granting property licensing; however, in general these will include the following:
- The HMO being reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of people expected
- Providing a fixed and affordable heating system to all lets
- Providing the minimum number of bathrooms, kitchen and laundry facilities per number of tenants
- Providing the minimum kitchen size and facilities (including cooker, sink, fridge, worktop space, food storage cupboard) per number of tenants
- Providing the minimum size of rooms
- Providing the required communal areas, for example dining area, living area, outdoor area and ensuring they are kept clean and in good condition
- Ensuring that appropriate fire safety measures are in place (including smoke detectors, extinguishers, fire exits) in all lets and communal areas
- Providing annual gas safety checks
- Ensuring electrical wiring and appliances have been checked and certified
- Ensuring the HMO property is not overcrowded
- Providing appropriate refuse storage and disposal facilities
- Ensuring that the HMO manager is competent
- Ensuring that the proposed licence holder is a 'fit and proper person'
OUR HMO LICENSING SERVICE
There is much more to owning and managing an HMO property than just collecting rent. We understand that the first step is to ensure your HMO meets compliance and council regulations, which is why we offer landlords our bespoke HMO licensing service.
We stay informed of all local Council HMO regulations and proposed changes that may affect your property. We inform you of these conditions and manage the process to ensure your HMO property complies to council requirements.
Our service includes the following:
- Completing the council property licensing scheme application or renewal on your behalf
- Contacting, coordinating and booking relevant professional engineers to complete the certified safety checks required
- Submitting all safety certificates, on your behalf, to the relevant Councils
- Organising a Fire Risk Assessment for the property to ensure that it complies with local guideline HMO regulations and meets fire regulations
- Organising the necessary repair, rehabilitation or new works required to comply with the assessments from the Fire Risk Assessors and council compliance officer’s
- Project managing any works required
- Liaising with your tenants to ensure any necessary works can be undertaken in a timely manner with the least amount of disruption
- Responding to council requests for additional information, paperwork or certifications, on your behalf
- Informed communication to keep you up to date on the progress of your licensing application
OUR HMO MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Once you have your HMO property licence, the next thing to consider is how to manage it. After all, you do not want to spend countless hours managing calls from tenants on non-essential matters, maintenance issues, and searching for the right tenants.
Our bespoke HMO Management service deals with the nature of short-term tenancy periods of HMO properties, with a focus on finding the right tenants, tenant referencing, arranging multiple tenancy agreement contracts, as well as the repairs and maintenance management.
Our specialty is everything HMO related. In fact, we do the whole process for HMO’s… “We Plan, Develop and Manage HMOs.” Our HMO Management service combines our unique HMO expertise with our personal experience of being landlords ourselves.
Read more about our HMO Management service here.