Definition of an HMO
The Housing Act 2004 introduces a new definition of what constitutes a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). A House in Multiple Occupation means a building (or part of a building, such as a flat), that;
The building may be occupied by more than one household:
For other purposes prescribed by the Government. Persons do not form a single household unless they are members of the same family or they form a prescribed relationship defined by regulations. A household refers to:
Families (including single people, couples and same sex couples.)
Other relationships, such as fostering, carers and domestic staff.
Why the Need for HMO Licensing?
Larger HMOs, such as bedsits and shared houses, often have poorer physical and management standards than other privately rented properties. The people who live in HMOs are amongst the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society. As HMOs are the only housing option for many people, the government recognises that it is vital that they are properly regulated.
Licensing is intended to ensure that;
Where Landlords refuse to meet these criteria the Council can intervene and manage the property so that:
Compulsory (required by law) licensing of HMOs affects properties that are:
The Licensing Procedure: & Local Authority HMO websites
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.