If you have a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), you should now be aware of the rules that came in to effect on 1st October. You also be aware that some councils are behind already on the licence applications with one rumoured to be nine months behind!
To recap – any property with five or more occupants (not all related) will now need an HMO licence, as the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Order 2018 takes impact.
Previously, the licence applied to properties with three or more stories and five or more occupants (not related to each other). However, it was decided to change these requirements and ultimately increase the number of properties that require a licence.
These changes impact both existing and prospective HMO landlords and full details on how to obtain licences will be available on the relevant councils’ websites, alongside other requirements the individual council may have put in place.
A minimum size for bedrooms has also been implemented and the guidance will recommend that floor space be no less than 6.51sqm for a single adult and 10.22sqm for two adults sharing. Any room with less than 4.64sqm is not to be used as sleeping accommodation.
With the possible delays in granting the license some lenders may not be willing to assist until the approval has been actually issued. However, speak to a specialist who has access to All Types of Mortgages as some lenders are happy to proceed once the application has been made.
Finally, also remember that the surveyor is the lenders ‘eyes’ in all financial transactions. They will value the property for both rental possibility as well as its actual value. As this report is for the lender, they have no obligation to tell you what is in the report or give you a copy! If you are looking to buy a property and convert it in to an HMO, you will need to let the valuer know when they visit the property as this may change the value of the property and more importantly, the rental achievable. This could also affect the possible loan amount that the lender will allow.