Make sure your HMO letting agent is up to the job
Information revealed in a Communities and Local Government document about HMO licensing reports many letting agents merely find tenants and collect rents and are not fit and proper licensed persons that the law states should manage shared housing.
Property Investment Expert editor Steve Sims discovered the information while researching a guide on new HMO planning and licensing rules that started on April 6, 2010.
The CLG highlights this lack of differentiation between the HMO manager and a managing letting agent as a major cause of concern to some councils trying to enforce licensing, said Steve Sims.
Its clear that this is likely to be a major enforcement point in the future and it would be sensible for HMO owners to have a written agreement with a letting agent that clearly lays out their responsibilities in the event of a council taking action.
Property Investment Expert recommends that HMO owners who do not look after their houses should have a contract with their manager and/or letting agent specifying the responsibilities of each person.
This way the HMO owner has redress if a letting agent fails to keep to the agreement and has a defence against a possible council prosecution.
The Property Investment Expert guide to the new HMO planning and licensing rules is available for download from the Property Investment Expert web site at http://www.property-investment-expert.com