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HMO Licence question.

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    So looking for a place to stay for next year and we've found a 4 bedroom house that doesn't have a HMO licence. However, the landlord is willing to rent it to us, knowing there will be four unrelated people living there, if only two of us sign the lease.

    Now if we were caught what would be the the repercussions? Would the landlord simply be forced to evict the two not on the lease or could we face prosecution?

    If it's simply a case of two of us getting kicked out we'd probably be happy to take the risk as we're all relatively quiet and the house is down an alley with offices on either side, so we're unlikely to draw any unwanted attention due to noise etc.
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    Judging by the direct.gov.uk advice (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndC...ards/DG_189201), it isn't actually mandatory for this house to be HMO'd, because there aren't 5 tenants there.

    I suspect that either:
    a) the landlord isn't familiar with HMO licencing, and given a bit of educating / legal advice from the council they would realise that they don't actually need to start engaging in such shenanigans as you've outlined above.
    b) there's something dodgy going on here, the landlord is a bit of a shady character, and you should steer well clear (even if you get past the contract issue - what's he going to be like as a landlord? Will he do repairs? Let himself in without notice?)

    With regards to you getting "caught" for such things - you wouldn't be in trouble anyway, the landlord would, as this side of things is his responsibility.

    At the end of the day, I wouldn't go into a house where only two people had signed the lease - after all, that means that those two have no security, and no protection from the law.

    Isn't there anywhere else you could rent?
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    (Original post by The Remote Part)
    So looking for a place to stay for next year and we've found a 4 bedroom house that doesn't have a HMO licence. However, the landlord is willing to rent it to us, knowing there will be four unrelated people living there, if only two of us sign the lease.

    Now if we were caught what would be the the repercussions? Would the landlord simply be forced to evict the two not on the lease or could we face prosecution?

    If it's simply a case of two of us getting kicked out we'd probably be happy to take the risk as we're all relatively quiet and the house is down an alley with offices on either side, so we're unlikely to draw any unwanted attention due to noise etc.
    HMO licences are only necessary for houses with 5 or more unrelated inhabitants in most places. And you should all be signing the lease, as after all you will all be living there.
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    HMO licensing is mandatory for properties with 5 or more unrelated tenants and 3+ floors. However if the council runs an additional or selective HMO licensing scheme, an HMO license might be needed. It's best to contact the council or check out the website.

    In addition to the above, 31 cities have adopted the Article 4 direction and planning permission for "change of use" from C3 (dwelling) to C4 (small HMO) might be needed. This effects all properties (houses and flats) with 3+ unrelated tenants forming more than one household.

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Updated: April 22, 2012
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