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Tenants still live there but sublet rooms EH think its HMO - help


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These guys are the best tenants I have had in years - place it spotless.  Let me in and were really honest without any notice. 

However one of the two original tenants is not now living there.  It is a two bed flat with two receptions - one is now a bedroom, the girlfriend now also lives there.  There is also talk of moving her son in as well as two additional paying guests. So on average 5 people living there. 

The local council have sent me a letter saying they believe it is an HMO - and I need to respond to let them know if it is or not.  There tenancy is up next month! But I havent given notice.

I dont think I can let 5 of them stay there - if they cant afford it they will have to go.  I dont mind 4 there but what do I do about the new tenancy and the council?   What do you guys think we should do and are we going to get into trouble??   What should we tell the council.  I dont want to make the changes needed for 5 people to love there and I dont want it to be an HMO - there is once tenancy agreement and I want to keep it that way!


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You need to establish your local council definition of an HMO. You can probably do this by phone or better still get it in writing.

Once you know the rules of what constitutes an HMO you can modify the tenancy to suit.

As the fixed term tenancy comes to an end next month you can choose the occupancy to suit you.

Having large numbers of occupants, especially children or pets & non working tenants or people working in manual trades will result in much higher wear and tear than a single person or professional working couple.

You also need to check for restrictions in your lease or imposed by the managing agents or mortgage lender or insurers who usually have restrictions on number of unrelated occupants etc.

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From what you have written your property is currently being run or is about to be an HMO which is why the local council have expressed an interest and require a reply to the current set-up. No doubt they have been tipped off?

I would say this situation requires your immediate attention in as much laying down to your tenants what your rental property is.

Personally I would avoid the HMO route. Fraught with problems for you and not only that a 2 bed flat as you have rented out now will be deemed to be overcrowded by the Council HMO office with the number of people you say are looking to live there.

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