Tenancy Agreements for HMO: Everything You Need to Know
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a rental property that is shared by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family or household. An HMO tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenants.
If you own an HMO property, it is important to have a robust tenancy agreement in place to protect your interests and ensure that your tenants understand their obligations. Here are some key things to consider when drafting an HMO tenancy agreement:
1. Tenancy term
Specify the length of the tenancy, whether it is a fixed term or periodic. A fixed-term tenancy means that it has a set end date, while a periodic tenancy has no set end date and continues until either party gives notice to end it.
2. Rent and deposits
Clearly state the rent amount, payment schedule, and payment method. You should also specify the amount of the security deposit and the conditions for its return.
3. Bills and utilities
Outline who is responsible for paying the bills and utilities, including gas, electricity, water, and internet. If the landlord is responsible, ensure that this is reflected in the rent amount.
4. Maintenance and repairs
Specify who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the property, including any appliances provided. Also, outline the procedures for reporting repairs and the timescales for repairing them.
5. House rules
Set out any house rules that tenants must follow, such as no smoking or pets, and noise restrictions. You may also want to include provisions for shared areas, such as cleaning schedules.
6. Changes to the tenancy
Outline the procedures for making changes to the tenancy agreement, such as adding or removing tenants. Ensure that any changes are agreed to in writing by all parties.
7. Ending the tenancy
Include the notice period required for ending the tenancy and the procedures for returning the property to the landlord. Also, outline the conditions for ending the tenancy early, such as if the landlord needs to sell the property.
8. Responsibilities of the landlord
Specify the landlord’s responsibilities, including complying with health and safety regulations, carrying out repairs and maintenance, and providing access to the property for inspections.
9. Responsibilities of the tenants
Outline the tenants’ responsibilities, including paying rent on time, keeping the property clean and tidy, and reporting any repairs needed.
10. Dispute resolution
Include provisions for dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, in case of any disagreements between the landlord and tenants.
In conclusion, having a robust HMO tenancy agreement is essential for both landlords and tenants. It can help to prevent misunderstandings and disputes and ensure that both parties understand their rights and obligations. If you need help drafting an HMO tenancy agreement, consult a legal professional or seek advice from a lettings agent.