X

Sign Up

or

By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Sign Up

Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google

or


By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Log In

or


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Forgot Password

To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.


Already a PT member? Log In

Don't have an account? Sign Up

  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    HMO in Birmigham - criteria and tax

    Hi,

    I would be grateful for comments from HMO landlords in Birmingham to share their expertise regarding HMO requirements. I looked at a 4bed house in a good location for HMO, but

    1. one of the rooms is smaller ie. 5.28   and I've read in 'Property and management standards for HMO'  that  'the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres'

    I assume that this room can't be used as a 'sleeping accommodation' (but could be potentially used as eg. 'study room'Wink?

    2. I need some clarification regarding criteria for kitchen facilities and dining area.

    It says that 'kitchen facilities' for up to five persons must be min. 6.5 m²  and 'dining kitchens' min. 11.5 m². The kitchen in this property has 9.5 m²  so in spite of having a space for the small table, it doesn't meet criteria for 'dining kitchen'. Do I understand well that in such case, living room must meet criteria as 'combined living room and dining room'?  

    3. How does the council calculate cuncil tax for HMO? Is it paid in total for the property or for separate rooms?

    4. On council website it says that licence is required only if it is HMO with five or more people, who form two or more households. Is my understanding correct that for smaller HMOs occupied by up to 4 people, licence is not required? What is than required in such situation?

    Thank you for piece of advice Smile

    Regards,

    Joanna

    0
    0

    Hi Joanna,

    I am not an HMO landlord in Birmingham, but feel I can answer your questions as they are fairly generic:

    1. one of the rooms is smaller ie. 5.28 m²  and I've read in 'Property and management standards for HMO'  that  'the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres'

    I assume that this room can't be used as a 'sleeping accommodation' (but could be used as for instance 'study room'Wink ?

    Yes, this room could be used as an office or storage room.  See - 

    What are the new HMO minimum room sizes?

    Ideas for redundant rooms in HMOs

    2. I need some clarification regarding criteria for kitchen facilities and dining area. It says that 'kitchen facilities' for up to five persons must be min. 6.5 m²  and 'dining kitchens' min. 11.5 m². The kitchen in this property has 9.5 m²  so in spite of having a space for the small table, I understand that it doesn't meet criteria for 'dining kitchen'.  In such case, living room must meet criteria as 'combined living room and dining room'?  11 m² is required so lounge would also be too small.

    >>> Not sure on this one.  I will ask HMO legal expert, David Smith to comment.

    3. How does the council calculate cuncil tax for HMO? Is it paid in total for the property or for separate rooms?

    >>> It depends on individual councils' views on this but generally speaking, they are more likely to charge ICTB if each bedroom has an ensuite.

    You could contact the HMO Officer at the local authority and ask them to clarify this point.

    See - HMO, Individual Council Tax Banding

    4. On council website it says that licence is required only if it is HMO with five or more people, who form two or more households. Is my understanding correct that for smaller HMOs occupied by up to 4 people, licence is not required? What is required in such situation? 

    See the following video and content - which answers this question and is important reading for all HMO landlords:




    Monday - Launch of HMO Week - overview of changes/how to find information

    Tuesday - Minimum room sizes/understanding licensing fees

    Wednesday - Mandatory licensing changes

    Thursday - Understanding management regulations/Rent to Rent HMO issues

    Friday - Who is responsible and when to apply for a licence/consequences of non-compliance

    0
    0

     A built in wardrobe counts towards floor space so see if you can put a door in somewhere and nick a small amount off another room to make up the small rooms floor space.

    Go into your local councils web site and see what their requirements are, as they are sometimes more than the national recommendations. Try to meet their requirements just in case the law changes in the future and you need to get a licence.

    Always look to future proof yourself.

    0
    0

    Good evening,

    I appreciate your prompt replies.

    Many thanks for all these links Vanessa. I've listened to all your conversation with David and have three  main conclusions.

    First and very important one is that criteria for room sizes do not apply to small HMOs (is.occupied by max 4 persons).

    Second - HMO management rules apply to all HMOs regardless if the size.

    Third - with small HMOs there is no need for licence but also no need to do any other registration.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I'll call tomorrow HMO Officer in Bgham Council and ask him/her about council tax.

    Regards,

    Joanna

    0
    1

    Vanessa - the video is out of date, mentioning 3 or more storeys (1:19).

    Joanna - youre mainly wrong.

    0
    0

    Hello Joanna.

    Room sizes apply regardless, they need to be 6.5 sq metres. This can be resolved by knocking a bit of the wall down and extending the too-small room into a larger one.

    HMO licensing rules vary by council. Many councils only require licensing when there are more than 4 rented rooms. Make sure you have enough bathrooms. Ensuites increase the value of your property by more than they cost to install but it's prudent to include at least two non ensuites so the property does not incur council tax per room.  Make sure there is plenty of communal living space so the tenants can enjoy a normal shared lifestyle.

    Fire regs always apply with HMOs but don't be put off by these. Doors to the stairwell and external door corridor will need to be upgraded to fire doors and possibly also the frames and you'll need an integrated fire alarm system but the costs are not onerous and they serve to protect your investment in any case.

    Ask the council for help and advice. I've found they are generally OK as long as you come across as fair and genuine.

    0
    0

    Hi Alison,

    Thank you for your comment. From videos it seemed that size rooms apply only to licenseable HMOs, but I guess its no the case.

    I checked that one bathroom would be ok for 4 persons.

    I'll talk to HMO Officer anyway.

    Joanna

    0
    0

    Following your numbering


    1. Room size limits only apply to licensable HMO property. However, the room cannot be used as a sleeping room in that case but could be used as something else.

    2. The local guidance on room sizes is just guidance. It must be applied flexibly.

    3. The council does not calculate council tax. This is done by the VOA. There is a risk that you will have to pay CT per room.

    4. Yes that is right. But it is still an HMO so you will be bound by HMO Management Regulations

    0
    0
    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.

    Quote: 3. How does the council calculate cuncil tax for HMO? Is it paid in total for the property or for separate rooms?


    The same rules on council tax discounts and exemptions apply (with a couple of exceptions) however liability is shifted to the landlord in a council tax HMO (Note that Council Tax has it's own definition of what a HMO is. In real terms though the property appears to be a council tax HMO)

    The Valuation Office Agency will make a decision on banding, if they are made aware, but it generally comes down to whether or not the rooms have any facilities - if it's simply a bedroom with all other facilities shared then it's unlikely to lead to individual banding. If it was individually banded then each room would be looked at again as an individual dwelling for council tax, with their own banding (which, oddly, may then qualify as council tax HMO's - for which the landlord would then fall liable...)


    0
    0

    Specialist Council Tax advisor (A.Inst.Pa) based in Gateshead, but working nationally for landlords and council tax payers.
    http://www.lgfa92.co.uk
    Posting as @CouncilTaxGuy on Twitter
    Why not look at our blog at http://www.lgfa92.co.uk/blog

    Any posts are my own opinion on legislation and may vary from your local authorities !


    Hi,

    Thank you for your comment regarding taxation. In other words, if none of the rooms have en suite or kitchennet, whole building will qualify for council tax as one property?

    Regards ?

    0
    0

    hi been reading this post

    have a office i converted 2 years ago for HMO over 4 floors with 8 en suite rooms 1 room and 3 shared kitchens and 1 shared bathroom

    i have lived there on an off during this time as my home

    I have chased and never been given a council tax bill and made a complaint to the council about this and then only yesterday received a letter from the VOA office saying they have been notified from the council 'amendments' to the property have been made and could i clarify that the property is made up of ensuite rooms

    reading this blog im fearful they are going to back date council tax on me....this would ruin me and all my hard work and investment. Has anyone got any comments i would be very grateful.

    0
    0