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Help
30-10-2005, 15:37 PM
Hi,

I have a house which I rented out. Now I want to let it out per room as it has 4 rooms. I would like to know how can I allocate the water, electricity and gas untilities among 4 people? Are there any saftey regs I have to follow? I have searched HMO on this forum but couldnt find any thing useful.

Has any one done this then I would be greatful if you could share some information about setting this up and any other relevant information.

Tanks

Editor
30-10-2005, 17:04 PM
Your starting point here is to contact your local authority to make sure you can get planning approval for an HMO in your area - councils will not pass these in many residential areas.
Next you need to get your local authority building inspector and fire officer to asses the property for your proposed new use. You will probably need to do a considerable amount of work to ensure it meets the required safety standards including fire doors, safe passages and hard wired alarms.
It's a good idea to apply to join your local authority's Landlord Accreditation Scheme if they have one - this will ease your path for what follows.
Soon, landlords of HMOs will need to be licenced by their local authority - you need to show that you are a fit and propert person, which I've no doubt you are - see out recent newsletters on the Housing Act 2004:
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/BlogNews/newsletter-archive.htm
Bear in mind, there will be fees per room to pay to your local authority in future for licencing.
See also these pages re: HMOs:
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/HMOs1.htm
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/hmos.htm
It's always a good idea to search the main LandlordZONE site as well as the Forum - in fact a Google search brings the about liks up at the top of its list!

MrShed
30-10-2005, 17:26 PM
With regard the utilities question, it is much simpler to just say "you sort out your own utilities". Then you do not have to deal with the squabbles of who pays exactly what amount etc....just let them put the bills in their name and they deal with it. This also protects yourself in the case of non-payment of bills etc.

RichieP
30-10-2005, 19:38 PM
I agree with Mr Shed, as you'll also have to work out how much is used in communal areas.

Energise
30-10-2005, 20:20 PM
I include utilities in the rent, It seems unreasonable to me to expect tenants to accept financial liabilities of the other tenants that you choose.

Help
30-10-2005, 23:44 PM
Hi

Thanks to every one for your valuable input. I have read the information on the links included. From what I understand from them its manditory for propertys that are 3 storeys or more and have more then 5 occupants.

Mine is just 2 storey and there will be only 3/4 people. Will this HMO licensing still apply or should it be best to check that with my local local Authority which is Birmingham City Council?

Cheers.

red40
31-10-2005, 07:17 AM
As far as I know the licensing of 3 storeyand 5 people is aimed at bedsit accommodation and self contained flat accommodation, additional and selective licencing would be used for this type of accommodation.

No Help your property isn't licenceable, although it would still be assessed if needed under the new legislation (April 2006) for the purposes of HHSRS. Thats unless you LA have applied to the secretary of state to have the 3 storey/5 person guideline altered.

It took me over half an hour on Friday to explain the basics of the housing act, HHsrs and licensing and in the end the landlord said it isn't worth i anymore and is going to sell his property. :rolleyes: He wasn't to impressed when I told him the rough costs and also that local authorities are going to charge if they need to issue a notice.

Energise
04-11-2005, 10:40 AM
There are pros and cons:
Sureley it's up to you to to put energy-saving bulbs etc because they just don't give a f.. about amount of the bill. It is impossible to organize them to pay bills as often they dont'konow each other before moving in.
But because you choose sharers - that helps you to get rid of them in case of non-payment etc. easily as they become lodgers. .

That does not make them lodgers they are still tenants.

red40
04-11-2005, 12:17 PM
I should also add that a local authority can implement additional licensing or selective licensing to specific urban areas of their district.

You are right that currently there are quite a few pitfalls in HMO legislation, but under the new Housing Act 2004 hopefully these will be 'plugged' but until the act is tested in court it is impossible to say.

But as I say the HHSRS will apply to any dwelling regardless of being a HMO or not.