24th March 2018
Following on from last week, I thought I would share some more information about HMOs.
HMO licences are valid for five years at a time, and you will need a different licence for each HMO that you have; unfortunately, you cannot have just the one. To comply with the licence, you’ll need to make sure that a valid gas safety certificate is sent to the council each year, smoke alarms need to be installed and safety certificates for electrical appliances must be available on request. Some council rules will differ, so make sure you read and comply with everything your local authority requests.
Depending on how much work needs to be done to the property, and the type of work to be carried out, you may also need planning permission. Again, this will depend on the changes you are looking to make, the type of property you have and the local authority. Make sure no matter what you do, that you keep any emails, letters or post that you have received from the local authority, as you never know when you will need them.
You may be wondering why you would need to make alterations to your property. This would again depend on how in-depth you want to go with this project. First, consider what your new tenants are going to use and require, and how much space they are going to need (most councils have a minimum requirement for bedroom and kitchen size). Don’t forget that you will need to fully furnish the property, from beds to knives and forks. Any, and all, furniture you supply will need to comply to fire safety standards; and all soft furnishes must have fire safety labels on.
Within the valid five years of the HMO licence, you will be visited by the council and they might not give notice of this inspection. They will attend, and more than likely carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System risk assessment. If any risks that are found during the assessment they must be addressed, fixed or replaced.
Aside from rules and regulations, when planning your HMO, ask yourself “would I be happy living here?”; if the answer is no, then you are more than likely going to struggle to get tenants.
Next week we are going to cover one of our working HMOs, which we are managing for a client.
In the meantime, if you have any HMO questions, or if you are considering converting your property into an HMO, please feel free to contact me.