Here is a question for the blog clinic from Ibrahim who is a landlord
I am the landlord of a four bedroom three storey house which I rented out to three sharers about six months ago. I purposely advertised it as a three bedroom house to avoid the need for a HMO licence. The fourth bedroom was set aside as a store room.
During a recent visit my agent notified me that the fourth bedroom is now occupied by a couple, meaning there are five occupants. All the occupants are now asking for the couple to added to the tenancy agreement.
Have the unsolicited sharers inadvertently created an HMO, even though they are not official tenants?
I hope you can provide some assistance.
My understanding is that yes, this will have created a licensable HMO, unwanted in your case.
The tenants cannot force you to accept this situation if you do not want it. So you do not HAVE to accept them as tenants just because they have moved in.
I suggest you write to the tenants saying that you do NOT consent to the occupation of the fourth room. The residence in your property of the couple is in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement, and you require them to vacate forthwith.
Serve a copy of a section 21 notice at the same time, so you can evict them at the expiry of the notice period. Hopefully you have not given them too long a fixed term.
There is no harm in telling them your reason for wanting to keep the numbers down – ie that the continued occupation of the couple will have the effect of bringing the property within the HMO licensing regulations which you do not want.
Or alternatively you could bite on the bullet, accept that you will have a licensable HMO and agree to the extra couple – but only on condition that the rent is increased to cover the extra wear and tear on the property and the additional costs you will be put to by virtue of having to apply for an HMO license.
Or give them the choice.