028 9024 5640 (option 5)
operated by Housing Rights

Buying a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

Brendan got in touch for some advice recently about a property he is planning to buy. The property already has a HMO licence and 3 sitting tenants. He knows that the property must be licensed at all times and wasn’t sure how he could get the licence transferred into his name.  Brendan was also worried as the property is in an area with a lot of HMOs and he is concerned that a new application might be rejected on the basis of overprovision. 

Our adviser told Brendan that, he would need to apply for an HMO licence in his name before the sale of the property has completed.  The law states that an HMO licence will expire when a property is transferred to a new owner, leaving it unlicensed. However, if Brendan submits an HMO licence application in his name before the transfer of ownership, the existing licence will remain valid until a decision has been made on his own application. As his application is essentially for the transfer of an existing licence, and provided it is submitted before the sale goes through, it wouldn’t be an increase the number of HMOs in the area. This means his application wouldn’t be turned down on the basis of overprovision. 

Brendan was also advised that he (and any managing agent) will need to pass the ‘Fit and Proper Person Test’ as part of the licence application. This test examines any previous breaches of housing law or criminal offences and ensures that those responsible for managing an HMO are fit and proper people. Our adviser told Brendan that if his licence application was turned down, he as the right to appeal the decision within 28 days of the decision.