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HMO REGULATIONS If you are letting to three of more unrelated people the chances are that the property will be classed as an HMO (house in multiple occupancy) which requires compliance with HMO regulations to be found in the housing act 2004. Non compliance with HMO Regulations provisions can lead to criminal prosecution.

AM I CAUGHT BY HMO REGULATIONS You will be caught by the HMO regulations if:

The property is let to more than three people who are unrelated in the sense that they are not from the same family.

Non-compliance with the HMO regulations can be the basis of criminal prosecution, so it is important that you understand your obligations.

WHAT IS HMO REGULATIONS? You may be subject to a requirement for a Local Authority licence if your property comprises a building which is three or more storeys and occupied by five or more tenants in two or more households – but HMO regulations vary from area to area.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T COMPLY WITH HMO REGULATIONS? Non-compliance with licensing requirements and HMO Regulations can amount to a criminal offence and attract a fine of up to £20,000. You cannot use the ‘Section 21’ procedure (see later in the guide) if you are not licensed when you should be and any benefits paid in relation to the tenancy can be reclaimed by the Local Authority under a rent repayment order which can order the return of up to 12 months rent or housing benefit.

It is important that you make enquiries of your Local Authority as to the HMO regulations in your area.