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  • Rent-to-Rent

    HMO licencing told owners we need a License

    Weird situation occurring on our first rent to rent deal

    - the owners apparently spoke to the HMO licensing guys and apparently the licensing guys said to the owners that the HMO licence is held by the person and not the property so we would need to get a HMO licence, which we know isn't correct- so I'm not sure why they would say that?

    and also the HMO licensing guys also suggested that they didn't need firedoors with closers throughout for a working professionals bedsit (5 rooms) under 3 storeys which again we don't think is right based on LACORS

    Anyone had this issue? Really strange to think the HMO licensing team at Portsmouth basically think HMO licences are held per person and not per property, surely under that assumption people could just get one licence and then buy multiple properties

    Can anyone with experience shed some light on why they might say this?

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    Hi James,

    Just my opinion from what I have learnt so far..

    I am going through an HMO licence myself.  I went to Camden's HMO licence seminar and there they told us that The Licence is non transferable although it is on the property but it is also on the person who is managing it.

    So when say you acquire the property you will need to apply for HMOL and be assessed accordingly ie 'fit and proper' for purpose ie can manage the property correctly and I think if the property is already licensed then the relevant items should be in place ie fire alarms and signs etc.

    If the HMOL team suggest there is no need for fire doors with closures and for that particular type, it may be true.

    I am going to a HMO course soon.  I still don't know much about t it as it is my first time the weight of HMO management being bunged on me.

    If you can think of any Q I need to ask which might help me along the way, let me know. Who know it might be a Q I shuld have thought of but didn't so it will educate me.

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    "the licensing guys said to the owners that the HMO licence is held by the person and not the property"

    This is correct, in part.

    It may be a licence for a property, but its held by the manager. If that manager is changed then council has to ensure that the manager is a "Fit and Proper Person" .

    In most cases where a licence has been granted on a property, it should be no issue to get a new licence in the new managers name.

    We've seen it where a local landlord who has already had a HMO (passed fit and proper test) council simply transferred other licence over.
    We've seen it where a new landlord went through tests but because property has been checked, council simply transferred it after test.
    We've seen it where property has not been inspected for a while, that a they come out and do new tests. It should be grant by default though, highlighting issues to fix on condition of licence.

    LACORS is just a membership organisation of a Council. As in councils pool resources to it for it to provide advice. (As RLA is to Landlords, LACORS is to Councils). Not all councils are members of LACORS and what they put out is not concrete but based on there interpretation of the regulations. Though going "over the top" on fire safety is never a negative thing.

    TL;DR; Every time a HMO changes hands, council will require a new application for that new owner.

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    _________________________________________________________________________


    My posts are not financial advice, just a rambling guy passing time on a coffee break.
    The team at Bespoke Finance offers advice, including Limited Company Buy-to-Let , HMO Conversion and Cheap Life Insurance.

    _________________________________________________________________________


    The licensing guys are right, you do need a license. Licences are for people and property, if either changes then a new license is required.

    LACORS is guidance, its not binding

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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.

    You have described the property as consisting of "5 bedsits". If that's the case, each will have cooking facilities and so fire doors would be a requirement. If they're not bedsits, and just normal rooms in a shared house situation, then it's not unusual for there to be no requirement for fire doors on all rooms, although it would be a normal requirement for the kitchen.

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