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Resident Landlord with 2 tenants an HMO?


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I am writing with regards to the HMO license. I am confused over the issue of whether a resident landlord with 2 tenants is categorised as HMO.

I currently live in a 3 storey (6 bedroom) house, with my wife and daughter, and 4 tenants. Two tenants share the top floor, and the other two tenants live in rooms on the first floor. Note they have their own washing facilities. My family occupy the ground floor, although we share the kitchen with our tenants, and sleep on the first floor (so we are not self-contained residential landlords).

I understand this falls into the current definition of a House in Multiple Occupation, so I had planned to reduce the number of tenants I have to two, as on the ODPM's website (http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1163883&cat=100022#acat) it says "a property where the landlord and his household is resident with up to 2 tenants" is not classed as an HMO.

I phoned up the ODPM to confirm this and they pointed out that I could have upto 3 tenants as my family would constitute one unit, and the HMO definition stipulates 5 or more tenants. However my local authority don't agree with this. They said my family counts as 3 persons, and I could only have one tenant because I am not a self-contained residential landlord.

I would be very grateful for your help, if you could you clarify whether my house would be an HMO with 2 or 3 tenants, given that I am a resident landlord and share the kitchen with my tenants.

Many thanks,


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