A HMO property is, by definition: a property rented out to 3 or more people, who are not part of the same household though they may share living spaces, i.e. the bathroom and kitchen.

Unfortunately for this landlord, no license was in place for 8 months whilst 7 tenants occupied the property. Where a property is rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household, this would be defined as a large HMO, therefore, requires a large HMO license.

If there is ever any doubt as to whether your property may, or may not, be a house in multiple occupation, ALWAYS check with your local council. Furthermore, there could be selective licensing in place in your local area, so this is always worth checking where there is more than one household.

You absolutely do not want to get slapped with a rent repayment order like this landlord! And remember, licenses are only valid for 5 years; so ensure you are renewing!

If you're a landlord or agent in need of legal advice, please contact our team of legal experts on 02380 221344.