For all you HMO daddy’s and r2r moguls you’ll know all the new laws which have come into effect recently. But for those of you looking at HMOs / r2r as a possible strategy, here is an overview of items to consider before taking the leap.Please be aware that every borough in London has slightly different rules when it comes to HMO’s, so it is best to check with your local authorities to see if there are any additional requirements that may apply to you.
My list will use Greenwich Borough’s regulations (as it is where I live) so I know these best;
Recap of recent changes considering HMO’s.
- Before you apply for HMO planning permission, you must ensure that the rooms of your property are of an adequate size. The guidance is that a single room has to be more than 6.51sqm and a double room occupied by two adults over 10.22sqm. This is vital information, as if your prospect HMO doesn’t fit the bill, you won’t get the licence.
- You will need planning permission if you are changing an existing property from a single-family property to a HMO. A definition of a HMO is a house of multiple occupancy where 3 or more unrelated people share one property that would include sharing of bathrooms, toilets and kitchen facilities.
- You must apply for a licence, but at present only large HMO need to be licenced (5 or more people who are sharing or higher than 3 stories). I do believe that this is generalised, and it is best to check with local council if your HMO needs a licence.
In Greenwich Borough, you will need a licence if there are 3 or more occupants.
How much does it cost? An average application fee costs £377 per room. Once you get your licence, it is valid for 5 years.
- Before you take the full leap with HMO rentals you will also need to make sure that a few other conditions are met:
- Send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
- Install and maintain smoke alarms
- Provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested
Council or your local authorities may add other conditions to your licence i.e. provide standard of your facilities, but they will let you know when you apply.
Every borough is different in London, so it is best to check the exact details with your council. I have found a fabulous website that gives you quick overview of the rules and regs in each borough so you can dig into it further, which you can see here: https://www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/
It’s is good to check with your local council how many HMOs are registered and how likely they are to approve a new one. If there are lots of HMO’s in one area, it will be much harder to get a licence and your property may be rejected, so best to check in advance.
It can be daunting and even overwhelming at first, but there is plenty of free advice out there regarding this topic, including Facebook groups, where many people have joined who are either just getting started right through to experienced Moguls looking to give back.
All the best in your new venture and look forward to reading your success story in the near future.