Deemed Additional HMO / Transitional Licensing
What is transitional licensing?
This is a temporary form of HMO licensing.
Under the old legislation some local authorities chose to operate registration schemes for HMOs. This was a form of licensing. Transitional licensing is meant to deal with these areas. It provides a way of passporting over of former registered properties into the new system of licensing. However, it means that smaller HMOs not subject to mandatory licensing may be subject to HMO licensing.
When does it apply?
Transitional licensing known as deemed additional licensing will apply to a building where the following requirements are all met –
- There must be an HMO Registration Scheme with control provisions (or special control provisions) in force made by the local authority under the old HMO legislation before April 2006. Quite a number of local authorities had these schemes.
- The building must have been registered under that scheme or an application for registration must have been pending as at 5th April 2006.
- The building is not subject to Mandatory HMO Licensing. If it is, the mandatory licensing will apply in any event. If the building is registered it will be passported into licensing.
- The property must not be a converted block of flats which is an HMO. However, it might apply to individual flats which are HMOs within the block.
- The building must be within the new definition of an HMO under the 2004 Act. Thus, any blocks of purpose built flats or converted flats which are not HMOs under the new definition will be excluded. This will also exclude converted blocks of flats which are building regulation compliant, or have at least two thirds of the flats which are owner occupied.
How long does it last for?
What is the position if the property did not fall within the old definition of HMOs under the old legislation?
This is a very difficult area. It mainly applies to shared houses occupied by a group who were treated as a single household under the old law. Under the old law an unrelated group of people could be a single household and therefore not an HMO. Usually, this would be where a group of people took a tenancy together and occupied the property under a single joint tenancy agreement of the whole property. They would all be jointly and severally liable for the rent. The most significant change in the definition of an HMO for the purposes of the new law is that these shared houses will now be an HMO.
What happens to properties which were not HMOs under the old law and are now caught by the new definition?
As indicated in the answer to the last question, this primarily affects shared houses such as those occupied by groups of students or young people. If they were not an HMO under the old law they should not be subject to transitional licensing because they would have been outside the registration scheme. However, not all local authorities accept this.
What about those properties which were HMOs under the old definition but which were not registered when they should have been?
The position is not clear. Some local authorities argue that these properties are now within the new transitional arrangement so need to be licensed. There is a strong view that this is not correct.
What happens to those properties which were registered under a registration scheme?
Where the property meets all of conditions (i) to (iv) above and is already registered then (irrespective of whether it would otherwise be subject to mandatory licensing) it will be passported into licensing without the payment of further fees under the transitional scheme for the residue of the registration. The transitional schemes will last for three years. After that time if properties within the transitional scheme are outside the scope of mandatory licensing then they will only be subject to further licensing under the additional licensing provisions if the local authority designate them for this purpose. The local authority will have to then make out the case in the normal way for additional licensing to apply.
What about blocks of flats which was registered under a registration scheme?
Purpose built blocks of flats will not be HMOs under the new legislation so the block would not be within transitional licensing. So far as converted blocks of flats are concerned these remain within the registration scheme until new regulations are made. Up to the present they have not been made. A registration scheme will still apply to these.
These converted blocks of flats will remain within the registration scheme until new regulations are made to deal with this type of HMO.
IMPORTANT: Our website (including the Unique Property Selector) can only give general guidance. You always need to specifically check the status of any property individually and take appropriate advice including general guidance from the local authority where it is located.