What happen when 3 students live in a non-HMO flat? Watch

prs.ng
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Hi guys, I am an international student who will start my course this September. Another 2 friends of mine and I are looking for a flat and we found one with a decent price and not so far away from our campus. However, the landlord said that his flat is a no-HMO, yet he still agrees to let us rent the place, as long as we don't cause any troubles. Since we are all international students, we are not sure of the letting regulations, may I ask what happens if we rent the place? If things were found out, would it affect our visa status? Would we have to pay any fine? I am pretty confused now. We have been looking for a flat for a month and so far this is the only place that offers us the property. Besides from the HMO issue, the landlord has a valid registration number. It would be nice if I can hear more advice from you guys. Thank you
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by prs.ng)
Hi guys, I am an international student who will start my course this September. Another 2 friends of mine and I are looking for a flat and we found one with a decent price and not so far away from our campus. However, the landlord said that his flat is not a no-HMO, yet he still agrees to let us rent the place, as long as we don't cause any troubles. Since we are all international students, we are not sure of the letting regulations, may I ask what happens if we rent the place? If things were found out, would it affect our visa status? Would we have to pay any fine? I am pretty confused now. We have been looking for a flat for a month and so far this is the only place that offers us the property. Besides from the HMO issue, the landlord has a valid registration number. It would be nice if I can hear more advice from you guys. Thank you
Take a look at these two sources: https://www.savethestudent.org/accom...-a-tenant.html and https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...occupation_hmo

It sounds pretty dodgy if your landlord won't register their property as a HMO. It seems like he's trying to avoid the extra legal responsibilities he'd have as a HMO landlord, which could compromise your safety primarily. If he indeed should be registered but isn't, then he's the one that would be fined.
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999tigger
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(Original post by prs.ng)
Hi guys, I am an international student who will start my course this September. Another 2 friends of mine and I are looking for a flat and we found one with a decent price and not so far away from our campus. However, the landlord said that his flat is not a no-HMO, yet he still agrees to let us rent the place, as long as we don't cause any troubles. Since we are all international students, we are not sure of the letting regulations, may I ask what happens if we rent the place? If things were found out, would it affect our visa status? Would we have to pay any fine? I am pretty confused now. We have been looking for a flat for a month and so far this is the only place that offers us the property. Besides from the HMO issue, the landlord has a valid registration number. It would be nice if I can hear more advice from you guys. Thank you
Had to look up what it was.
https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_...ccupation_hmos


If he isnt HMO then he is breaking the law, but you are going to have to gauge whether you can get a fair deal and the property is decent.
If you take it you wont have the protection of a HMO, but as long as you pay and the house is decent, then it could be ok.
I dont think it would affect visas as it is LL responsibility. he could legally rent to 2 of you or a single person and a couple.
Is he demanding big payments in advance?
It is a risk just use some common sense.

Speak to CAB


https://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux?postcode=edinburgh
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prs.ng
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
Take a look at these two sources: https://www.savethestudent.org/accom...-a-tenant.html and https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...occupation_hmo

It sounds pretty dodgy if your landlord won't register their property as a HMO. It seems like he's trying to avoid the extra legal responsibilities he'd have as a HMO landlord, which could compromise your safety primarily. If he indeed should be registered but isn't, then he's the one that would be fined.
Thank you for your information. I also did my online research and fully acknowledge that the landlord will be the one who gets fined, but since my friends and I all worry that renting this place means that we are breaking the law, which makes all of us kind of confused and scared at the moment. I have been looking on the internet to see what happen to the tenants, but I got no answer, all of the articles stated that the landlord would be fined, not the tenants. Still, this worries us sick.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by prs.ng)
Thank you for your information. I also did my online research and fully acknowledge that the landlord will be the one who gets fined, but since my friends and I all worry that renting this place means that we are breaking the law, which makes all of us kind of confused and scared at the moment. I have been looking on the internet to see what happen to the tenants, but I got no answer, all of the articles stated that the landlord would be fined, not the tenants. Still, this worries us sick.
You wouldn't face any legal ramifications as far as I know, but you may have to move if the landlord suspects you of reporting him (if he gets found out) and becomes difficult. Have you looked into private halls to share with your friends?
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prs.ng
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Had to look up what it was.
https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_...ccupation_hmos


If he isnt HMO then he is breaking the law, but you are going to have to gauge whether you can get a fair deal and the property is decent.
If you take it you wont have the protection of a HMO, but as long as you pay and the house is decent, then it could be ok.
I dont think it would affect visas as it is LL responsibility. he could legally rent to 2 of you or a single person and a couple.
Is he demanding big payments in advance?
It is a risk just use some common sense.

Speak to CAB


https://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux?postcode=edinburgh
Thank you for the links but since I am abroad, I guess I cannot give a ring to CAB at the moment. The reason that makes me wonder is that the flat is in a pretty good condition and has enough facilities for 3 students. Since we are not sure if we could find another flat like this one, with decent price like this, we are still discussing if we should take it or not. The flat has everything we need, plus fire escape nearby, and the fire alarms and the carbon monoxide alarm inside too. We have been searching on Zoopla, Rightmove, etc to find a flat for 3 with HMO but it comes to a dead end. Most of the place that has the license is over our budget.
To answer your question
No, he is not asking for a big payment, just 1 month of rent as a deposit, my friends assure me that it's ok, but I cannot get rid of the feeling that this would affect our visa
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999tigger
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(Original post by prs.ng)
Thank you for the links but since I am abroad, I guess I cannot give a ring to CAB at the moment. The reason that makes me wonder is that the flat is in a pretty good condition and has enough facilities for 3 students. Since we are not sure if we could find another flat like this one, with decent price like this, we are still discussing if we should take it or not. The flat has everything we need, plus fire escape nearby, and the fire alarms and the carbon monoxide alarm inside too. We have been searching on Zoopla, Rightmove, etc to find a flat for 3 with HMO but it comes to a dead end. Most of the place that has the license is over our budget.
To answer your question
No, he is not asking for a big payment, just 1 month of rent as a deposit, my friends assure me that it's ok, but I cannot get rid of the feeling that this would affect our visa
You can get a calling card, skype or just email. Id rather you ran it past the uni or uk visas or ukcisa. This is Scottish law so not in my area. My instinct is that the responsibility is his and you do not get the associated protections as linked. Please read them. If Phoenix is Scottish will leave it to him.
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prs.ng
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(Original post by 999tigger)
You can get a calling card, skype or just email. Id rather you ran it past the uni or uk visas or ukcisa. This is Scottish law so not in my area. My instinct is that the responsibility is his and you do not get the associated protections as linked. Please read them. If Phoenix is Scottish will leave it to him.
Ok thank you for the information. I will write an email for them by this Monday to be sure.
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Notoriety
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HMO rules are set by your local authority; check their website to see the rules regarding HMOs. It seems your landlord is admitting that he is acting against the local rules, so I guess that settles the issue.

If you are living in a non-registered HMO, there are all sorts of implications regarding your liability for rent and ability to be evicted. In many senses, notwithstanding the lack of proper supervision of the flat by the LA, you are in an advantageous position because your landlord is breaking the law.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Notoriety)
HMO rules are set by your local authority; check their website to see the rules regarding HMOs. It seems your landlord is admitting that he is acting against the local rules, so I guess that settles the issue.

If you are living in a non-registered HMO, there are all sorts of implications regarding your liability for rent and ability to be evicted. In many senses, notwithstanding the lack of proper supervision of the flat by the LA, you are in an advantageous position because your landlord is breaking the law.
I think they get that. Do you know the visa position?
Would you take such a property as an international student (notwithstanding we havent seen, but less assume its a bargain)?
I think I would.
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StriderHort
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Just my anecdotal 2p, but i know a few landlords who have went the HMO route and they seriously regret it, they had to essentially deck the place out like a high security hotel at massive cost, and esp for a 3 bed place they just didn't see it as worthwhile.


It really depends how much you really care about it, you aren't the one obligated to be HMO compliant. I've never met a landlord yet that sticks to the 100% letter of the law (lets face it, most people don't), and most tenancy agreements i've seen would break down instantly if you tried to follow them 100%. The fact that you already know yr flatmates helps a lot tbh.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by 999tigger)
I think they get that. Do you know the visa position?
Would you take such a property as an international student (notwithstanding we havent seen, but less assume its a bargain)?
I think I would.
Depends upon what you make of the landlord. If he's a good upstanding businessman, who just happens to have this property and can't be bothered with the fuss of making it compliant with local laws (or seeking an exemption), then I would not be bothered. If he is just a wheeler dealer, then how do you think he'd react when the boiler blew and you needed urgent repairs? I think you have to understand whether or not you trust your landlord.

I don't know the position as against the visa.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Depends upon what you make of the landlord. If he's a good upstanding businessman, who just happens to have this property and can't be bothered with the fuss of making it compliant with local laws (or seeking an exemption), then I would not be bothered. If he is just a wheeler dealer, then how do you think he'd react when the boiler blew and you needed urgent repairs? I think you have to understand whether or not you trust your landlord.

I don't know the position as against the visa.
Fine I think I would be the same I wouldnt have an issue if I assessed the LL as just someone who could be arsed with the licence, but the property was good etc. Scots appear to have much more generous rental agreements than the UK. I wouldnt say take it or dont as thats the ops choice and they have seen it.
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prs.ng
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Thank you guys for all of the replies. Yes, we all understand that signing this housing contract would put us in a disadvantageous place in many aspects. We have been talking to our landlords and he seems nice, and is really responsive in replying our concern. As far as I know, he let the place as Airbnb during the festival, so maybe I can take a look at his Airbnb reviews to know more of him and the condition of his flat.
Though, the only thing that worries me is our visa status, since I cannot get the information anywhere on the internet
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StriderHort
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Scots appear to have much more generous rental agreements than the UK.
*nods* I find myself constantly gobsmacked by the conditions of English tenancies, student ones especially.



One thing i'd add, if you go ahead with it. be VERY clear about who is responsible for the council tax, for HMO's it's generally the landlord, otherwise it's down to you.....if you're sharing with strangers this can be a nightmare, but if you know the other 2 you should be able to be civil about it.
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Realitysreflexx
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Could be stolen council property... And your de facto helping the landlord evade proper procedures..(tax evasion!).... What could potentially happen, is if your visa gets flagged for whatever reason at random and then your address is looked into... Could cause issues.

I wouldn't risk it. Breaking law's as an immigrant is never good.

As a landlord myself i would be highly suspicious of anyone trying to screw the government. If that is he/her attitude towards them what would be their attitude if your heating etc went out.
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prs.ng
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Yeah, my friends are thinking of renting the place, though the visa and criminal records are still our main concerns.
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Fresher18
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It may also vary between LA depending on their classification as I know where I rent in Reading to get HMO classification it’s generally a property with 6 or more people in and ones below that aren’t classed as one unless they chose to be
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prs.ng
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(Original post by StriderHort)
*nods* I find myself constantly gobsmacked by the conditions of English tenancies, student ones especially.



One thing i'd add, if you go ahead with it. be VERY clear about who is responsible for the council tax, for HMO's it's generally the landlord, otherwise it's down to you.....if you're sharing with strangers this can be a nightmare, but if you know the other 2 you should be able to be civil about it.
Thank you for the notice. We already discussed about this with our LL, and he said that we need to do some paperwork to show that we are full-time student so there would be no council tax for us.
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prs.ng
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
You wouldn't face any legal ramifications as far as I know, but you may have to move if the landlord suspects you of reporting him (if he gets found out) and becomes difficult. Have you looked into private halls to share with your friends?
Our university halls are all full now and the other private student halls we found online are all over our budget. We tried to search for a HMO flats but it seems like the procedure to get license are nuts so not many LLs bother to get one.
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