At Martin Pendered & Co we have extensive experience with letting and managing shared properties as well as developing conversions. We understand that this type of property requires greater involvement by the management company and specialist knowledge to manage efficiently. We are your HMO Specialist.
With sharers comes more active tenant management and often a higher turnover. The property will typically require more repairs than a single let, and the communal area is also generally the responsibility of the landlord and/or the managing agent.
Furthermore, sharing properties / HMOs are subject to a host of legislation which can be a true mine field for someone just starting out.
If instructed to manage your HMO, our services will include the following:
- Liaison with the local authorities to ensure the HMO is licensed correctly if required.
- Advice on any works required to ensure compliance with amenity, space and fire regulations as laid down by the Housing Act 2004.
- If appropriate, we will conduct a fire risk assessment which will be reviewed annually.
- Close relationships with the Local Authority, educational establishments and major local employers to ensure rapid lettings to tenants and minimise room void periods.
- Regular inspections to ensure your tenants are treating the fabric of the building with respect.
- Management practices to ensure the legal requirements are maintained in accordance with the “Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006” Act.
- Advice on licensing, Article 4 and planning permissions.
- We understand that every HMO will be unique in its requirements and management workload. It is, therefore, impossible to publish a standard fee for HMO management and we take each property on a case by case basis.
An HMO licence is granted to the landlord if the HMO property meets certain standards to ensure that it is safe and suitable for the tenants. But not all HMO landlords need to obtain a licence. Observe the ff. guidelines to find out if your property requires one:
- it is a three-storey house (including cellars, attics, basements, mezzanine floors and loft conversions). The definition of storeys includes habitable basements and loft conversions.
- it is occupied by five (5) or more people from two different households or more
- tenants share the kitchen, bathroom or laundry area
- in some cases a maisonette in a house or above commercial premises may need a licence if similarly occupied
How to Apply
The landlord must submit one (1) licence application for every property that will be rented out. A fee will be charged by the council for the processing of licence applications. Processing time can take anywhere between 6-8 weeks. The council will consult with individuals who may be interested in the property and deliberate whether licence conditions should be imposed for the HMO in question.
All licensed HMOs will be inspected to identify any need for repairs, or to assess fire safety, amenity or other safety concerns. Landlords must comply and bring property up to standard within a period of time determined by the council. Contact us for more info.
An HMO is subject to legislation about how it is managed by the landlord or letting agency (manager). Certain duties and obligations are placed on the manager of the property. These include:
- Providing tenants with the manager’s contact details which include complete name, address and phone number, and display the information in a conspicuous location within the property (e.g. living area, kitchen, dining)
- Ensuring that all fire escapes and facilities are kept in good order and are free from any form of obstruction. The design and structure of the property must also possess adequate fire safety features and amenities. Reasonable instructions regarding fire safety at the property must be complied with at all times.
- Ensuring that adequate and clean water supply is maintained; gas and electricity must also be supplied without any unreasonable interruptions thereof
- Ensuring that electrical installations are regularly inspected/tested by a qualified professional. Intervals for said checks must not exceed 5 years.
- Certificates for electrical and gas inspections must be provided by the manager upon request of the local housing authority, not exceeding 7 days from notice
- Ensuring that living units are clean and presentable before occupiers are allowed to move in. Contents of the property (e.g. furnishings) must be maintained in good working order throughout tenancy
- Ensuring responsible and proper waste management (i.e. storing and disposing of waste properly; providing adequate bins for rubbish and making sure they are conveniently placed at the right locations within or around the property
- Should an individual fail to abide by the regulatory conditions, it can be dealt with as a criminal offence by the Local Authority. The individual could be tried in a Magistrate’s Court and, if convicted, could be fined up to £5000 per offence committed.
If you have any questions regarding HMO Management, please do not hesitate to contact the HMO Expert! On 01933 233910