This page explains some of the key legislation that must be adhered to when managing or renting an HMO, whether licensable or not.
All HMOs, regardless of whether they are licensable or not, are subject to legislation about how they are managed. There are two main pieces of management legislation; the first being the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the second the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007.
This legislation places certain duties on the individuals managing the property. The duties include the following:
This legislation also puts responsibility on the tenant to:
If an individual fails to comply with the regulatory conditions it can be dealt with as a criminal offence by the Local Authority. They could be tried in a Magistrate's Court and if convicted could be fined up to £5000 per offence.
In addition to the management legislation, the Housing Act 2004 covers all rented accommodation within the UK. Amongst other things the Act concentrates on health and safety in the house. An assessment system has been put in place to evaluate risks in residential property known as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
It is not expected that all landlords will be familiar with this system at present, but if a Local Authority Officer assesses the property using the HHSRS they may require works to be done to the property to reduce the risk to health.
The Local Authority will often try to resolve the problems informally with a landlord following assessment of the property. Where this fails and in certain other circumstances formal notices may be served on landlords requiring them to do works to resolve problems within a strict time limit. If the landlord does not comply with the notice then they may be tried in a court and if convicted may be fined up to £5000 per offence.