Hatfield, Hitchin, Knebworth, Stevenage and Welwyn
Specialist Letting Agents

Housing Act 2004

The regulations in the above Act concerning houses in multiple occupation ("HMOs") became law on April 6 2006 and were enforceable from July 2006. This is a general wide definition of the regulations which state that the following are HMOs:

  • Student accommodation during term time;
  • Properties inhabited by 3 or more people who are not a household and share kitchen and bathroom facilities. A household is defined as parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins.
  • A building converted into flats pre June 1992 which does not comply with the Building Regulations 1991, has not been subsequently up-dated to the relevant fire safety standard and where a third or more of the properties are rented on short term tenancies.

The landlord may not have to carry out any action to ensure compliance. The above properties like all private dwellings must comply with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System ("HHSRS") which is the new statistical means of measuring hazards and risk of injury at a property. This system applies to all properties but those falling into the above category are subject to inspection by the environmental health officer. The responsibility for ensuring premises comply is that of the Landlord. If we accept an instruction to let premises and subsequently an order is served to comply with the HHSRS if we incur any costs for compliance due to an order being served upon us you the Landlord agree to reimburse us within 14 days of written request.

Mandatory Licensing
Under the Housing Act 2004 landlords of certain properties were individuals are living as more than one household well need to be licensed by their local authority. If we believe that your property falls into this category we will inform you of this fact and of the alterations that we have been informed by the local authority may be required to allow you to gain a licence for your Premises. If your Premises potentially require a licence you will either need to obtain a license from the relevant Local Authority or we will only be able to let your Premises to a single family group.

The Premises will require a licence if it falls into the following definition. If the Premises are 3 storeys or more and has five or more occupiers who do not form one household and share kitchen or bathroom facilities it is subject to mandatory licensing. It is the responsibility of you the Landlord to apply and pay for the licence, although we shall be pleased to help. We can only offer Premises for let when we are in receipt of a copy of the mandatory licence or a certificate stating that the Landlord has applied for the licence

Discretionary Licensing
Local authorities can enforce discretionary licensing. We will advise you of any regulations of which we have been made aware but it is the responsibility of the Landlord to check whether the Premises are subject to discretionary licensing and if so to apply and pay for the licence.