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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Soft furnishing provided by tenant

    Hi,

    A lodger in an HMO where I am a live-in landlord brought this piece of furniture in for a communal area. It does not have a fire resistant label. Do I need to get rid of it?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice,

    Will

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    Hi

    Is it usual for a lodger to bring their own furniture. If it is new, it should be fire resistant. Best to talk to the lodger first

    Regards

    Soe

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    Interesting question, and I'm not sure of the correct answer.

    As a resident landlord with lodgers its not a problem.

    As a licensed HMO landlord you are only responsible for the furniture you supply. As this is in a communal area, and not in the tenants room, I'm not sure how this is interpreted.

    You say you have tenants, is this accurate or are they licencees? If you have licencees, and not tenants, this may, or may not, alter the situation.

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    Thanks for your response Gary! It's in a licensable HMO (5 occupants, 4 households), but the council haven't come for the inspection yet so it isn't yet licensed.

    I believe they are not tenants, as my bank doesn't allow me to have any written contracts under my residential mortgage. Do you think this could make me fail the inspection with the council or would they simply ask me to get rid of it as an action from their assessment?

    Is this something that I should just be asking the council really? Thanks so much for your help as I'm just starting in my first house and have a lot to learn.

    Many thanks,

    Will

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    You have issues! I'm not a mortgage adviser, but it is unlikely that you can have a mandatory licenseable HMO on a residential mortgage.

    Hopefully, one of the many advisers on here can restrain themselves and give you some constructive advice. Try posting the question in the Mortgages tribe.

    The rest is secondary to resolving your mortgage.

    ps. I've naively done the same in the past and got away with it. Things are a lot tighter now.

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    Thanks Gary! I know that it's not common and have been working on the mortgage issue separately. I will, as you say, post in the mortgage thread now as well to get further help as it seems everyone on here is so willing to share their knowledge and experience!

    So, I know you are saying that this furniture issue is a secondary one, but I would still appreciate yours or anyone's advice.

    What do you mean by "restrain themselves"? Are you saying they are likely to chastise me in their reply on this forum or that they will read my post and report me in some fashion?

    Thanks!

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    Expect some chastising but no one is likely to report you, its not in the spirit of the forum.

    I wouldn't be concerned with the furniture, its not relevant at the moment. You may be in breach of your mortgage conditions, you may not have adequate insurance and you may fall foul of council legislation for HMOs and there are also tax implications. These are very relevant and need to be sorted asap.

    Would you describe the arrangement in your house? What agreements do you have, if any? Do your lodgers have locks on their doors? Do they all live with you 7 days a week?

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    Thanks again Gary!

    I'm really glad you mentioned those issues as these are all of the matters I am working through at the moment. I have through naivety found myself in a difficult position and appreciate you helping me navigate it to find the best solution. I have applied for the property license and am in contact with Bristol city council, and am ensuring that I am abiding by all of the rules which is why the piece of furniture actually came up.

    Re mortgage conditions, I realise this is a complicated matter in my case so I've posted the full detail in the mortgage tribe under Licensable HMO on Residential Mortgage.

    Re insurance, I am allowed up to 6 paying guests or lodgers.

    I have no agreements as required by my bank, so have sent my lodgers a link to the implicit terms between all occupants and landlords and have written an inventory.

    No doors have locks and they live with me 7 days per week.

    Many thanks for your continued help and advice.

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    """"It's in a licensable HMO (5 occupants, 4 households), but the council haven't come for the inspection yet so it isn't yet licensed.""""

    Have you applied for a licence? Hope so, or you might have to repay all rent under a Rent repayment order...

    Your bank doesn;t allow written contracts eh?  Oh dear, so no written agreement so arguments if you ever wished to evict someone.

    Does your insurance cover this business?

    Have you been declaring ALL the rent income to HMRC?  No chance this is under rent-a-room £7,500pa limit...

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    Thanks again for checking that I am following the procedures correctly, this helps me a lot as it will ensure that I'm covered should any issues arise.

    Have you applied for a licence? Yes

    Your bank doesn't allow written contracts eh? Oh dear, so no written agreement so arguments if you ever wished to evict someone. I know, but I need to follow the terms of my mortgage. After living in the property for some time, I hope to obtain consent to let which will enable me to let out under Assured Shorthold Tenancies which I would prefer.

    Does your insurance cover this business? I believe so. I stated the lodgers when making my application. I have also just checked, and found the following stated in my policy summary.

    "Business use: No business use"

    "Lodgers/Paying guests: No more than 6"

    So with reference to you using the term business, that's left me nervous. However, it clearly says I am allowed up to 6 lodgers so I'm covered right?

    Have you been declaring ALL the rent income to HMRC?  I haven't filled a tax return yet for this as I bought the house in November 2018, but all rent will be declared.

    Thanks! Given those responses, is there any advice that you would give me in my situation?

    Many thanks!

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