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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    1 building, 2 self contained units, HMO?

    I'm still trying to fully understand what is an HMO and why. Taking a simple example of 1 building with 2 self contained units, with 2 occupiers in each unit:

    • Purpose built - Not an HMO
    • Converted with building regs approval - Not an HMO
    • Converted without building regs approval - A S257 HMO (if not owner occupied)

    I have read that letting a self contained basement flat, loft flat, granny annex, etc is likely to create a S254 HMO.

    Why is this the case? It will still be 2 self contained units, each with independent access, 2 lots of council tax, etc.

    Utilities will probably be shared, does this make a difference and why?

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    Your examples are right.

    However, I do not understand what you have read. It is possible that a property which had been converted where some of it was using shared amenities (cooking and washing facilities) and some of it was not could be an HMO under s254 as a converted building. But that has nothing to do with the sharing of utilities or council tax status

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Will it make a difference if there is a self-contained basement flat with a bedsit, house or a shared house above?

    In the past, in this situation, the basement has not been treated as part of the HMO, at least if it had a separate entrance. However, the new legislation is not entirely clear on this point and it may well now be treated as part of the whole building so that all of it will then be an HMO including the basement flat. This is the Government’s view. You could, however, argue that it should not be treated as being part of the HMO, especially if it is occupied by a single person/couple and has its own independent entrance.

    https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/h..._hmo.shtml

    This is one of the reputable sources, but I have read similar elsewhere. I'm struggling to understand why a self contained basement flat creates an HMO, S257 excepted.

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer


    "...Taking a simple example of 1 building with 2 self contained units, with 2 occupiers in each unit:

    Converted without building regs approval - A S257 HMO (if not owner occupied)..."

    My understanding is that it would NOT be a S257 HMO so I'm really confused as to how both you and the very learned dsns are saying that it is?!?!?


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    This bit...

    This section applies to a converted block of flats if—

    (a)building work undertaken in connection with the conversion did not comply with the appropriate building standards and still does not comply with them; and

    (b)less than two-thirds of the self-contained flats are owner-occupied.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200...ection/257

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    But how does two-thirds of 2 work?

    It would mean that 1.33% of one of the flats would have to be owner-occupied for it not to fall into the 257 trap.

    It's nonsense.

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    It can appear to be nonsense, but it is what it is.

    I recently viewed a 4 bed, 3 reception house. It had a nice kitchen extension on the rear within permitted development and 1 of the receptions had been converted to a self contained granny annex, basically a studio flat. It already had 2 council tax bandings and I knew if I was to let the annex to a lodger it would also become a S257 HMO. Take the kitchenette away, it was 2 base units and 2 wall units, and it becomes a single dwelling again. Now that's nonsense.

    I still don't understand how a self contained basement flat can create a S254 HMO though!

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer


    Gary, this brings me to a reply I made on a Douglas Lambourne comment earlier -

    Hear, hear!

    They need to start proacting instead of reacting.

    A joined-up approach, which carefully considers all of the factors affecting tenants AND landlords will be beneficial to everyone.

    Unfortunately, the govenment has allowed itself to be manipulated by those who've got the loudest voice through the media.

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