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Jul, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Can groups looking to rent a house together opt out of HMO rules?

    Hey,

    I have been searching online for a while now trying to find rooms in shared houses and have been unable to find anything suitable.

    So, I decided to seek like minded people locally that are having the same issues, (there are plenty of us out here!) and see if we can start up a new share. Seemed like a good idea at the time and I managed to find 3 others that are very interested. We started looking.

    Everything was going well until Wham! we ran into HMO regulations and all sorts.

    We have been told that unless we split into groups of 2 we will not get a House/flat/apartment. This negates the whole idea in the first place!

    We are looking for a place in Harrogate, which has very few HMO licenced properties.

    Can anyone suggest a route forward, a loophole, a disclaimer allowing us to opt out but still keep the landlord protected or point us in the direction of landlords in the area that may be able to help?

    Much appreciated,

    Chris & co.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    24,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chriskemp1947 View Post
    Hey,

    I have been searching online for a while now trying to find rooms in shared houses and have been unable to find anything suitable.

    So, I decided to seek like minded people locally that are having the same issues, (there are plenty of us out here!) and see if we can start up a new share. Seemed like a good idea at the time and I managed to find 3 others that are very interested. We started looking.

    Everything was going well until Wham! we ran into HMO regulations and all sorts.

    We have been told that unless we split into groups of 2 we will not get a House/flat/apartment. This negates the whole idea in the first place!

    We are looking for a place in Harrogate, which has very few HMO licenced properties.

    Can anyone suggest a route forward, a loophole, a disclaimer allowing us to opt out but still keep the landlord protected or point us in the direction of landlords in the area that may be able to help?

    Much appreciated,

    Chris & co.
    Who has told you that you won't get anywhere to live unless you are in pairs?

    It will certainly be the case that there isn't much in the way of shared houses - there is no University or major colleges there, but there will be some shared houses. And no, you cannot get round the HMO regulations. Could all four of you not buy a house together, rather than rent one?

    And why do you want to live in Harrogate anyway? It would be a bit like being in a coma, from my experience of the place. Betty's is nice, but you can't spend your life in Betty's! Live in Leeds! Loads of choice there as far as HMOs go, it's cheaper and ther's more going on.
    How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? Homer Simpson

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    Sorry if I was unclear, when I say we need to be in pairs I meant that we can get 2 bedroom properties, no problem, but we won't be able to move as a larger group of maybe 3 or 4.

    I know Harrogate is a bit small and sleepy, but it's where we all work and none of us are interested in a Leeds-Harrogate commute.

    Regards,

    Chris & co.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    24,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chriskemp1947 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    Sorry if I was unclear, when I say we need to be in pairs I meant that we can get 2 bedroom properties, no problem, but we won't be able to move as a larger group of maybe 3 or 4.

    I know Harrogate is a bit small and sleepy, but it's where we all work and none of us are interested in a Leeds-Harrogate commute.

    Regards,

    Chris & co.
    It's OK, I was only joking. I'm sure Harrogate has a vibrant metropolitan life...somewhere.

    Be clear about what 'HMO' means. A property is not necessarily deemed to be an HMO before anyone lives in it (except for residential homes, bail hostels, etc., which are obviously going to house large numbers of unrelated individuals). So the same four-bedroomed house could be let to a family (and not be an HMO), or to you and three unrelated other sharers and de factor become an HMO. Nor does this mean that it will necessarily need an HMO licence - that generally kicks in when it's five or more unrelated sharers over three or more floors.

    Local councils have the power to require additional licensing (e.g require licences for three bedroom properties in certain areas if let to students or young sharers), but they tend to do this only in areas where the other, longer-term residents (or more commonly, Residents' Associations) have complained about the adverse impact of such HMOs on the 'character' of the neighbourhood. I cannot believe that the whole of Harrogate is subject to such additional licensing? Where do all the young teachers, nurses, and other young professionals live who can't afford to buy?

    Now, for good reasons, fire regulations for HMOs (whether licensable or not) tend to be even stricter than for rental properties let to families, but any LL who can't be bothered to implement fire safety rules is going to be dodgy and best avoided anyway.

    And if LLs are refusing to let to four young professionals in favour of a family, they're mad, as they will make more money out of renting to four young pros! (About 50% more, on average). Try turning up to viewings in your best business suits and keep stressing that you want somewhere quiet and peaceful to live.
    How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? Homer Simpson

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