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  • Property-a-holics

    How to prove property NOT used as HMO

    Im buying a 3 bed property from a landlord and the mortgage surveyor has said the property looks like its a HMO property despite the property being empty at present. Therefore my provider has said the landlord needs to proove that the house isnt a HMO. They suggested showing the previous tenancy contract. Any thing else I can do you can think of?

    Anyone ever experienced this? I think the surveyor was suspicious as 2 of the 3 bedroom doors had locks on them.

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    I think Mr Richard Tachaniy is the HMO expert here

    Though of course it might all change with the new housing act.

    My uninformed opinion is that one tenancy agreement means it is not a HMO if a standard 3 bed property ranged over 2 floors if a maximum of 2 households occupy

    But I confess it is a confusing situation and I'm not sure

    Though I seem to remember that when I had some sharers I refused to allow locks on doors

    I can't remember why I did this.

    Something to do with council tax I think.

    I would disable the locks or remove them.

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    Well a property is not an HMO just because it has locks on the doors. In fact that has nothing to do with it.

    A property is an HMO if it is let to three or more persons who do not form a single family (ie blood relations) and where they share basic amenities (cooking and washing facilities). So the surveyor is out of date and the lender is incorrect.

    That said if they would be happy with a previous tenancy agreement and you have one I would just show them that. If you don't have it then it would probably be worth getting someone who can explain the law to them to explain why the property is not an HMO.

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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.

    Hi David

    I've been refused a second charge loan on the basis of your correct definition of HMO above, it's a couple and their close friend sharing - almost a modern family! Do you know of any evidence a lender would accept to prove it is not an HMO style arrangement or is the definition very black and white as above? Just trying to understand what their actual objection is which is behind the refusal? thanks

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    I can easily provide them with one, in fact i have sent it to them this morning, but these can easily be faked

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    What about the council tax arrangements? I am not sure how you would get hold of this but if council tax on this property was paid by one head of a traditional household this would surely prove it. If it was an HMO wouldn't the council know about it anyway?

    I had a lock fitted on my bedroom door at my old house  as my daughters were so disrespectful to my stuff and space. I am thinking  of putting one on again! When I have been a lodger, or flat shared or had friends with lodgers Yale locks on bedrooms were extremely common. I used to padlock my wardrobe to keep my brother from nicking and wiping my cassettes. I would have fitted one on my bedroom door then if I knew how!

    Lots of old houses have lockable doors if they have the original doors in place as they were made that way.  What a ridiculous conclusion to draw from internal locks.

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    In my parent's house all the bedroom doors from the 1930s had locks on them. Only one had a key - mine. One day the key broke in the lock . I had to fasten belts together to get a pair of pliers so that I could unlock it.

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