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Landlord Legal Issues - December 2020

Landlord & tenant lawyer, Tessa Shepperson of www.landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. My property only has four tenants, but I have been told I need a license. But I thought that I only needed to get an HMO license if there were five or more people living at the property?

A. That is true, and the mandatory licensing scheme only applies to properties where there are five or more occupiers from two or more households (and in Wales where the property has three or more stories).

However, many Local Authorities also have additional or selective licensing schemes which require you to obtain a licence even if you have less than five occupiers. Selective licensing schemes will require you to obtain a licence even if your property is not an HMO at all.

So, all landlords need to check to see whether these extra licensing requirements apply in their area. You should be able to find this out from your Local Authority website or you can ring them up and ask them.  

If you do not know the Local Authority or Council for your property you can find this out at https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council.

Q. I have been contacted by my Local Authority who tell me that as there are five unrelated occupiers in my rented house, I should apply for an HMO license. However, the property was let to just four people and the tenancy agreement was specific - that only those people were authorised to live in the property. What can I do?

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