AHMO Licensing
HMO Licensing

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16 Posts
2 months ago

Good evening. 

I have a question about Additiona HMO (my apologies for long message).

I received a tribunal letter today. My former tenants (from June 2021 until November 2023) have filed a Rent Repayment Order under Housing and Palnning Act 2016 on February this year. I received the email from the Court with documents attached today.

I was made aware of the HMO (additional) last year, and applied (with difficulty, lack of communication from Lambeth Council) and finally the application went through last August. My communication with the council started back in May 2023. 

The original Assured Shorthold Tenancy ended in June 2022, after one year occupancy of the flat, and the tenancy continued as a periodic tenancy with the same rent and conditions. A Section 21 Notice was issued to the applicants (tenants) on 9 September 2023, which was followed by the applicants (tenants) leaving the flat voluntarily on 13 November 2023. 

On 9 December 2021 the London Borough of Lambeth introduced its additional licensing scheme for Households of Multiple Occupation, that means that I am obliged to pay one full year rent to the former tenants, since the AHMO was filed Aug 2023. 

During the period of tenancy, the rent was very low, and not increased. They did not maintain the flat, (the flat was fully refurbished and in very good condition before the tenancy). We have to replace the fridge and the washing machine, plus constant plumbing work, and other. When I visited the flat with the builder for some repair, the state of the flat was distressful. It was then (in Sept 2023) that we decided to serve them the section 21 via Estate Agent, as we were paying full management fee to the agent; ending the contract with the tenants withing two months notice. We did not pursue to keep the deposit for the damages of the flat, just wanted them to leave. We spent £5400 for the repairs after the flat was emptied. We rented the flat again in Feb this year. 

My question is, how much responsibility (e.g.HMO licencing) do we as landlord take, when the flat is rented and managed by an Estate Agent. The Tenancy agreement does mention HMO, but we have not been asked to provide the certificate before or after the tenants moved in. I am going to be honest that I had no idea an HMO was required, and I believe that it was overlooked by the estate agent to notify us about it, since the new Lambeth Additional HMO scheme took placed six months after the tenants occupied the flat.

The busines terms with the estate agent regarding the HMO, as following: 

Landlord Licensing 
8.23 Some local authorities in the UK require properties to be registered under their Landlord Licensing Scheme prior to let. As the Landlord, it is Your responsibility to enquire with the relevant authority if the property should be registered. You are, if required, to upload to our online portal the necessary Certificate(s) of Registration a minimum of 7 clear days prior to the start of any tenancy. It is Your responsibility, if required, to obtain and renew this licence *and upload to our online portal so us, the Estate Agent are provided with a copy.  

Under General Obligation, there is the below clause: 
'10.22 - Estate Agent will not advertise or manage properties that require a mandatory House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) license.' 

 Many thanks,


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