HMO Licencing and Local Authorities
Local authorities have HMO standards in place to ensure that HMOs meet certain criteria of safety and habitability. These regulations include mandatory HMO licencing, which requires HMO landlords to obtain a licence for their property if it is occupied by five or more persons. Here, you can read more about HMO Licences.
What is Section 257?
Section 257 is a section of the Housing Act 2004 that pertains to HMOs and the appropriate building standards for converted blocks of flats. For the purposes of Section 257, a converted block of flats refers to a building or part of a building that has been converted into self-contained flats.
Why is Section 257 Important for HMO Landlords?
If Section 257 applies to a converted block of flats, it means that the building is exempt from mandatory HMO licencing.
Section 257 and Additional Licencing Schemes
While Section 257 provides an exemption from mandatory HMO licencing for certain converted blocks of flats, it is important to note that this exemption may not always hold true. Some HMO investors may purposely seek out HMO properties in converted blocks of flats in order to avoid obtaining a mandatory HMO licence. However, this approach may not always be effective, this is because of additional licencing schemes.
Additional Licencing Schemes:
Local authorities have the ability to bring in additional licencing Schemes, which extendto all HMOs, regardless of their status under Section 257. These schemes require all HMOs with more than a specified number of occupants, often three or four, to obtain a licence, regardless of whether they would otherwise be exempt from mandatory HMO licencing.
Section 257 HMO is a section of the Housing Act 2004 which applies to certain converted blocks of flats and provides an exemption from mandatory HMO licencing. While this exemption may seem like an advantage for HMO investors, it is important to note that local authorities have the power to bring in additional licencing schemes. These schemes require all HMOs, including those considered to be Section 257 HMOs, to obtain a licence..
Therefore, even if an HMO investor seeks out properties in converted blocks of flats in order to avoid mandatory HMO licencing, they may still be subject to licencing requirements through additional licencing schemes down the line. It is crucial for HMO landlords and investors to stay informed about local regulations and any changes to additional licencing schemes in order to stay compliant with HMO licencing requirements. Ignoring these regulations can lead to significant penalties, and it is always advisable to consult with a professional in order to stay compliant and avoid any legal consequences.
Whether you need a professional HMO Letting Agent to manage or let your HMO property in South London or require expert HMO advice and consultation, contact us today.