Camden Council has introduced Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licenses for all the properties rented to more than 1 household. While this initiative is good news in general it creates many issues for the landlords on the estate.
A typical 3 bedroom maisonette on the Curnock Street Estate has 962sq.ft or 89.1 sq.m of space. Look the floor plan on the left.
The council claims it is not suitable for four students, one in each room but it is suitable for 5 students or individuals as long as the tenants group consists of two couples and an individual!
The spare small room can be used as a Guest Room but not as a bedroom.
Some of the HMO requirements that do not make sense are:
First of the HMO requirements is to “provide and fit a fixed space heating appliance to the bathroom. The system shall be capable of maintaining an internal temperature of 220C when the external temperature is –10C.”
All the flats on the Curnock Street Estate with the exception of few are connected to the communal heating system that according to the lease agreement has to maintain a reasonable and normal temperature throughout the flat (Lease Clause 4.4 pages 18 and 19).
The council via Mr John Stow, Mechanical Services Manager, agrees that the temperatures inside the flats is reasonable and normal. So why do the leaseholders have to install an extra heating appliance?
It is also important to mention that the leaseholders are paying £1,148.14 per year for the central Heating system. The council now suggests that leaseholders have to pay more for installing an extra radiator. maintain it as well as paying for the running cost!
A second HMO requirement is that the small room in the three bedroom properties cannot be rented because it is too small since it only allows for an inbuilt wardrobe, a double bed and a desk. The minimum requirement is room with dimensions of 3 meters by 3 meters. This requirement will only create less rooms for let in a city that is desperate for more housing.
The third HMO requirement is to have TRV on all the radiators. This is great by why the council did not do that in the first place since the radiators are their responsibility? Instead of that leaseholders will have to contact council themselves and ask for the valves to be changed.
This article will be updated frequently with all the new information about HMOs.