HMO Management Regulations
The Management of HMO (England) Regulations 2006 detail strict regulations that landlords must comply with when managing a HMO. This includes certain measures relating to fire safety, waste disposal, water supply and drainage, and general maintenance of the property.
All HMOs, whether licensable or not, must comply with the management regulations.
HMO and Housing Act offences
Under the Housing Act 2004, private landlords, property managers, and letting agents can be held liable if the property is not correctly licensed or there has been a breach of the management regulations.
Local authorities will usually look to investigate landlords suspected of committing an offence. The property may be subjected to an unannounced inspection, or they may be required to attend an interview under caution. It is important that landlords seek legal advice if they have received an invite to an interview under to ensure that they know the best way to approach the interview.
Once the investigation has been concluded, the local authority will decide upon what action to take. This includes:
- Criminal prosecution. This can result in unlimited fines and may lead to banning orders being made after conviction.
- Civil penalties of up to £30,000 per breach.
In addition to the above, the local authority or tenants of the property affected may seek a rent repayment order. This is an order whereby the landlord will be required to pay rent.
If you or your business is facing investigation, you need to act quickly with the support of a specialist HMO lawyer to limit the financial impact and reputational impact.
Our specialist team of lawyers have experience of advising and representing landlords, letting agents, and property managers nationwide in relation to the following:
- HMO applications
- Advice in relation to local authority investigations
- Interviews under caution (known as PACE interviews)
- Advice in relation to a notice of intent
- Advice in relation to interim and final management orders
- Civil enforcement
- Advice and representation in relation to criminal prosecutions
- Banning orders
- Rent repayment orders
- Representation at the first-tier tribunal and
- Appeals against decisions to the first-tier tribunal
If you require advice or support in relation to any of the above, you should seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible in order to protect your and your business’ interest. For a confidential discussion with a member of our team, please contact us on 0203 816 9274 or complete our online enquiry form.