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HMO - Council Letter - what to do

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Hello all,


I am not sure if consumer action forum can help me with this but I previously made such a good experience in here that this was my first go to.


my brother and I rent a 5 bed room flat (only the 2 of us on the contract) but also rent out the 3 other rooms.

Landlord knows about this and we do not make any money off it.

In total there are in legal terms 3 households (will be 2 in Decembe).


We now received a letter from the council starting that this is a Multiple Housing Occupancy.

Somebody reported us.


We've live in the flat for 10 years.

I went on the internet because this was news to me and found out that on October 1st a new law was introduced and hence, we are a HMO.

Council would like to come and inspect the property.


I read that fines are 30k etc.

I want to call the council tomorrow and explain but I am so scared.


I will tell them that I will pay the licence fee which is around 1.5K because I simply did not know about this.

But I know that this is a terrible excuse even though it's True.

I would have never risk a situation like that.

I could blame it on the landlord but on the contract it is only me and my brother.


Also I am not the kind of person who would do this to him...he knows about 5 people living here though but the flat complies with all regulations on fire safety etc.


I just don't know what to do.

I also know who reported it: my flatmate.

he read that he can get 12 months rent back.

Although I don't get this as well as it was complaint up to October 1st so why should he receive money for a whole year.


I am just so worried that they won't give me a chance.

I am not able to repay 12 months rent nor to pay a fine of 30k...


.so far the letter states just a visit but I guess best is to call then and say yes you are right

- what can we do about this to avoid issues as we were simply not aware of this new law.


Yes if course it could have been avoided but I simply had no idea about it.

Now I know and it won't ever happen again but you know after living in the flat for 10years I never thought of this.


My landlord usually made sure that everything is compliant such as gas and electricity checks.

HMO I guess does not fall under it as he officially rents it out to 1 household.

I wish he would have told me about it though (it is an agency )...I would have offered to pay.


Calling the council tomorrow but any advice or experience on this ?

Worst news ever really.

I am shaking.



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i've moved your thread to the residential letting forum from the bailiff discussion forum

as you'll get more knowledgeable people here on your issue.



please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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Thank you DX!

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Also, discussed with my Brother and the best solution is to ask our flatmates to move out in this scenario.

And keep the flat to ourselves (and our cousin which would be 1 household hence no licence).

Would this be a satisfactory solution for the council?


4 weeks and it would be all solved and we would never take anybody else in, they can even come to make checks and all.

Also I want to mention that everyone has really big rooms, with great furniture etc.

And there is 1 person (and in another room a couple) per room only.

So no crazy 5 people per room or anything dodgy like that going on.

Clean and functioning flat.


I just hope this works out somehow ok.

I read Mir.eom the internet and people who got fined were landlord who had 30 people living in flats or did not act upon a warning.

Never had a warning , never had more people living in the flat than rooms( max 1 person more if a couple).

But still very worried.


Any advice would be appreciated.

I think calling council is the best step

- instead of calling landlord?

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What type of Tenancy Agreement do you have from the Landlord for this Property?


What do the Tenancy Agreement say about Subletting?


Do you have it in writing from the Landlord that they agreed to you renting out the other rooms.


What written Agreement did you provide for the rooms you rented out?


Have those in the rooms you rented out informed the council they are living at the property?

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Short let tenancy agreement.

Has a clause that sunletting is not permitted without consent.

We don't have it written though just verbally.


We have emails where we mention other people as well i believe.

Also we had many repairs and the landlord /agency was at the property 2 years ago to view it when they increased rent, so they obviously saw all people as well.


Recently he even bought 2 new beds for the 2 of the rooms also, so in theory i can proof that he knew about this and allowed it.

I live in the flat for 10 years.

It could have been avoided if he informed me that this new rule is coming into place and I would have told people to move out or asked him about licence.


There is no written agreement on the rooms, so the flatmates have no contract.

They however pay rent into my account and I then transfer to the agency.

Only 1 guy is on the electoral roll register.

I am not sure, I suspect 1 person informed that there are 5 people living here.

Again, they have no tenancy agreements with me.


Also i just read that purpose build flats are exempt from this new law.

We live in a purpose build flat (not a house that was concerted into flats).

I hope this really applies...


called council

- they were not very helpful.

Just said they need to come to check the structure of the flat...

Also read that this would probably fall under the additional licence for this borough..


.I wished I'd just known about this and then I would have made sure flat is 1 household only from October 1st

- or talked to the landlord about the licence.


I have sent him all the info, he should know what to do I hope.

I am so annoyed with myself but then again apparently many people were not aware of this change in law...

.and i am not actively looking for law changes to HMO

- will never live in a shared flat for sure now, lesson learned but I am literally losing sleep over things like that.


Trying to find something on the invenory that says:

you get a 2nd chance to sort it out, but nothing.


All I am reading is how people end up paying 20k for this, but they were official LL and had 20 people living in 7 rooms though, so there is hope...but still.


I literally do not know what to do,

I thought council would explain it to me a bit more or give some options or next steps but now they just will come next week to view the flat.

Edited by dx100uk

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It might be worth speaking to Shelter to get their view on this.



Illegitimi non carborundum




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