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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 a HMO licence in his name before the current licence expires. She explained that it usually takes about 3 months for the HMO Unit to make a decision and that, during this time, the existing licence will remain valid. Since his application was essentially for the transfer of an existing licence, it wouldn’t be an increase the number of HMOs in the area. This meant 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 a 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