Within the Borough of Boston Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are a source of concern and there is the suggestion that a number of properties are not being managed appropriately and are therefore having a detrimental effect on the neighborhood. The most common problems being reported is accumulations of waste and over-occupation. The Council feels it is appropriate to remind all landlords and managing agents of their responsibilities.
If you are a private Landlord and are housing five or more people forming two or more households in a property then you need to apply for a HMO Licence.
Landlords who have failed to apply for a Licence are at risk of:
- Prosecution – which may result in an unlimited fine or a civil penalty up to £30,000.
- Re-paying rent to the tenant through possible rent payment orders for non-compliance.
- Being denied possession of a property under Section 21 the Housing Act 1998 due to non-compliance.
- Licence conditions: if the property is a licenced HMO it is imperative you are aware that failure to comply with any of the conditions noted in Schedules 1 or 2 of the licence is an offence and may be punishable by an unlimited fine. A copy of the conditions will have been sent with the licence. In addition, a property will be licenced for a specific number of people if this number is exceeded you will be breaching your licence.
- Management Regulations: landlords of all HMOs need to be aware of the Regulations governing the management of HMOs as they apply whether or not they require a licence and impose a number of duties on the manager of the property including: provision of sufficient suitable waste bins having regard for the Councils collection service. The Housing Act 2004 provides that any breach of those regulations constitutes a criminal offence which could result in prosecution. To view the management regulations visit this link: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/372/pdfs/uksi_20060372_en.pdf
- Housing Standards: landlords should also have an understanding of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which the council uses to assess rented properties.
- Space and amenities: there are also minimum requirements for space and amenities in HMOs that must be met. Boston Borough Council’s space and amenity standards can be viewed at the bottom of this page: www.mybostonuk.com/hmolicensing
For HMOs in Boston Borough, if you have any queries or would like to report any issues please email Housing Standards at Housing.Standards@boston.gov.uk. For properties elsewhere, please contact your local council.