Q. I understand that the law changed on 1 October making more HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) properties subject to licensing. But presumably this won’t apply to existing tenancies, just new ones?
A. I’m afraid it applies to all tenancies. If you are a landlord and if any of your properties (apart from purpose-built blocks of flats with three or more flats) have five or more tenants in two or more households – the mandatory licensing rules apply.
As of 1October you should either have an HMO licence in place or have applied for one. If you haven’t you are breaking the law and can be either prosecuted and fined or the Council can serve a penalty charge notice on you for up to £30,000.
Your tenants will also have the right to apply to the First Tier Tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order.
Q. If my tenants, who are three friends, all signed the same tenancy agreement and live together as a family – does this mean they are a ‘household’ under the HMO regs?