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Fellow Tribers, please help,
I'd like to know if there has ever been a written guide produced for property tribes, which would help protect members from the tedious mind numbing medallings of local councils, who are throwing red tape and ludicrous legislation at my company, and generally costing me endless thousands of pounds trying to jump through their hoops of fire.
I develope HMO's ( excellent ones at that ) and my local council are not accepting any less than 10sq metres per bedroom on all of the bedrooms in houses that I am developing.
I produce every bedroom with an ensuite and they refuse to recognise the ensuite within the 10 sq m rule they are hanging on, .... now I know of plenty of developers in London who are getting away with 6sq m ( which coincidentally is wrong in my view, as that's a little small,) ... but Surely 8sq m is a pretty reasonable size for a single room with the addition of its own ensuite bathroom which DOES NOT eat into that space.
If you know any experts that would help me take on the council I would be most grateful for their details.
I would suggest that the days of HMO's are coming to an end unless you wish to risk individual council tax charging and factoring in the new HMO regulations
I believe that those who wish to be HMO LL will face additional costs and issues that you are experiencing right now.
There will be many more
Even if I could be an HMO LL I wouldn't be one now.
Years ago maybe.
Now there are so many issues mitigating against HMO viability it is debatable whether it s worth risking a HMO.
There needs to be national HMO standards
Capital values of these sorts of properties are risky now.
Affected by things like lenders and licensing
I reckon you would be better off investing in properties which can't be HMO's ever.
So a 2 bed property rented to two sharer couples
You could buy two of those house for the price of a HMO.
You would have no licensing issues etc and an easy to sell property
Couples would prefer to share with another couple than 5 other people
As you have experienced councils have a real downer on your business model.
You need to get out of their firing line.
Because they intend to obliterate you.
Keep yourself under the council radar with micro HMO's which don't currently require a HMO licence at the moment.
The beauty of a 2 bed shared property is the flexibility for two single tenants to acquire a partner tenant for no additional cost.
I charge the same rent for two singles as I would for two couples.
Or you could arrange for bunk beds for those tenants that don't mind sharing a bedroom but not a bed!
As you are discovering councils have it in for you.
It is very hard to beat a council.
Try to reimagine your old business model to avoid unnecessary council interference.
David Smith of Anthony Gold Solicitors is probably a good person for you to speak to. He's previously won a case against Manchester City council.
I think my starting point with this Is in my experience Councils don't like HMO
I have friends who run HMO and my own view is they are running small hotels
I haven't invested In HMO because I see lots of issues going forward
Business rates ect
Learn Change and Adapt ?????
In answer to Jeff's post ......... (!)
As suggested Anthony Gould solicitors is a good place to obtain advice.
You might be likely to find that the Council would lose at a Tribunal as this size is not legally binding. It is just their preference. When this is pointed out to them they would probably back down.
All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.
I do the same, 10 sqm rooms with en-suites, also the same as your council my council don;t count the en-suite in the bedspace.
here are the prescribed standards from my council
I just scanned through your councils information sheet and see if there's a living room provided (no size requirement stated?) then 6.5sq m is ok for single rooms. I know it all depends on room sizes in a property (which usually aren't too easy to make bigger) but was having a living room an option you looked at or would it just be dead space?
if a living room is provided min 11sqm, the bedroom can be min 6.5sqm.
if no living room is provided, the bedroom can be min 10sqm.
About a year ago, I wont a blog about the application of HMO room sizes that you may find of interest. The rules are likely to change in 2017 when the government introduce new minimum bedroom sizes for certain licensed HMOs:
What is reasonable will depend on a number of factors including the type of HMO (bedsit or shared house arrangement) and the amount of communal (living and dining) space available. If you need further advice on how the rules are being applied to your properties, you are welcome to get in touch.
Richard Tacagni MCIEH CEnvH
London Property Licensing
This information is intended as general advice and guidance. It is not legal advice and should not be taken or relied upon as such. No liability can be accepted for any reliance on the information published in this response. You may wish to obtain independent legal advice.