What is an HMO property? Why do students need them? What do I have to do?
These are some of the many questions that are being asked daily so we have created a quick fix to answer all of these questions and help to iron out all of your burning questions.
What is an HMO licence?
An HMO licence is required when 3 or more unrelated people are living in a property. This is why HMO licences are usually applicable to students.
What if I don’t have an HMO license?
You need a licence if you are renting with 2 or more unrelated people. This is for your Landlord to sort, and they are committing an offence if they do not have a licence.
Why should we rent with an agent as opposed to a Private Landlord?
You should always rent you property from a reputable Agent as there are a lot of rogue landlords that do not comply with current regulations. HMO legislation exists due to two young students loosing their life in a fire that could have been avoided if the property was fitted with fire alarms.
My landlord said I needed to rent the property for 12 months.
This is not true. Since new legislation came into play in December 2017 you only need to give the Landlord/agent 28 days’ notice. See https://cairnestateagency.com/legislation-affecting-both-tenant-and-landlord/ for more details
Can I keep pets in my flat?
This can be done with prior arrangements with the Landlord/agent. There is usually an additional cleaning requirement at the end of tenancy.
Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?
You should always be given a 24hr emergency contact number at the beginning of your tenancy.
Has there been any changes in HMO legislation?
Yes, a new Code of Conduct was created for HMO Landlords which came into play in March 2019. This was to deal with issues that arose from neighbours with a HMO property in their block. The new conditions for HMOs will cover; general refuse, maintenance, insurance and repairs of common areas, bulk refuse, neighbouring residents and statutory notices.
As part of the new conditions, a pilot project will be operating and will involve landlords/agents notifying the council in advance of flats being cleared of items at the beginning or end or the academic year to ensure bulk waste is reported for collection. Every Landlord will have been notified on the new code and it is now a condition of the HMO licence and needs to be adhered to.