Q. I own a property which is rented out to six tenants – it is a fairly large two storey house. I understand that this is an HMO – do I need to get a license?
A. At the moment mandatory licensing is for properties which have three or more storeys which are let to five or more tenants in two or more ‘households’. Unless your six tenants are all family members your property will be an HMO but, as it is a two-storey house, at present not a licensable one. Although it is possible that your Local Authority has an additional or selective licensing scheme in place, so you need to check this with them.
However, the rules are expected to change in October 2018 by removing the three-storey requirement – which will mean that all properties with five or more tenants in two or more households will need to have a license, irrespective of the size of the property.
Note by the way that even if your property does not need an HMO license you will still need to comply with the HMO Management Regulations. You can find out more about these, and about HMO issues generally in the free series of articles at www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/hmo.
Q. My tenancy agreement requires my tenant to keep the property clean and tidy and to wipe down the kitchen surfaces daily but when I went round for the most recent inspection it was in a dreadful mess and the kitchen surfaces looked like they had not been cleaned for weeks. Can I now evict the tenant for breaching the terms of his tenancy agreement? Otherwise what is the point of having tenancy agreement clauses?