When planning to invest in an HMO many of us understand the regulations that we need to follow. Although there have been cases where landlords have not intended to, or are not aware that their property has turned into an HMO, which can cause many issues.
These cases can occur where the tenants in a 2 bed multi-let decide to allow their partners or friends to live in the property also. Of course this is a breaching their contract, although it is the landlords responsibility to be aware of whom is occupying their property. By carrying out regular inspections it can prevent any accidental HMOs from occurring in this way.
If you do have trustworthy tenants who ask for a tenancy for their partner or friend to move into the property, as a landlord you still need to check whether an HMO is in regulation with your mortgage, property insurance and local Council. If the property is 3 stories or more and includes more than 5 tenants that share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities, you will need to check the Article 4 Directions in your area with your local Council. Article 4 Directions determines whether planning permission is required before a dwelling or property is altered to an HMO. You can check whether Article 4 Directions apply in your area: http://www.rla.org.uk/article4/article4_overview.shtml
Once you have an understanding of the impact an HMO would have, you will then be able to re-evaluate if an HMO would financially benefit you long term. As a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your tenants, your property and your own finances.