Should my tenancy agreement be HMO? Is my landlord in breach of our agreement/contract? | The Tenants' Voice
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Should my tenancy agreement be HMO? Is my landlord in breach of our agreement/contract?

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261 views 1 replies latest reply: 20 September 2017
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Tenant

H All,

I recently signed a tenancy agreement for a new place I just moved in to.

This is a shared house with 4 other tenants (5 total). The tenancy agreement i signed was a “Co-operate Let Agreement”. I tried to find information on it online, but no avail. The agreement is for the address rather than my room which is what I am used to. I do not know the other tenants.

I would like to kno, from a legal stand point:

1. Should my agreement have been an HMO or is it still ok to be a “Co-operate let agreement”? If supposed to be HMO, what should I do.

2. My room door does not have a lock. I asked landlord why and he said that everyone is referenced so it is safe. Legally, I suspect that i can’t force him to do it, but is there a way around it? Not comfortable having my room unlocked.

3. What are the requirements for a “Co-operate Let agreement” property interms of smoke detectors? Since not an HMO, there is no smoke detector in my room, but i don’t feel  like house has adequate detectors (only one working i think in landing).

4. Found out landlord might not be paying council tax although my agreement clearly says that my rent includes council tax? Should i do something?

Thanks a mil and hope ye all can help.

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Tenant

Hello, 

Honestly, I’ve never heard of a “cooperate let agreement” and there is no information online about it with largely means that it doesn’t exist. 

So, you’re basically living in an HMO, because you’re sharing a property with other households, which are not related to you and you don’t have your own facilities like bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc. 

The standard tenancy agreement to be used is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, which is the same one that is used if you rent alone from a private landlord. There are some differences in the sense that the landlord on an HMO property has increased responsibilities towards security and safety (fire safety, smoke alarms, etc.) 

There are some differences in the sense that the landlord on an HMO property has increased responsibilities towards security and safety (fire safety, smoke alarms, etc.) In addition to that, the landlord of an HMO must pay council tax and, depending on the size of the property, must also get a license from the local council. 

As for the lock on your door, there are two cases: 

If all tenants sign the same tenancy agreement, they are joint tenants and share the same tenancy and are jointly liable for the property, rent, damages, etc. In this case, the landlord is not legally obliged to provide a lock to each door, as the tenancy suggests that all tenants will cooperate with each other. 

If each tenant / room has its own separate tenancy agreement, then you are all separate households. You’re sharing facilities, but the rooms are exclusive for each tenant. In this scenario, you can demand to have a lock installed to your door. 

If your landlord refuses, you have right to install your own under the “right for quiet enjoyment”. 

I’m leaving below several links with extensive information regarding all your questions. Please go through them. 

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/council-tax/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/fire-safety/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/landlord-access/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/tenancy-agreements-assured-shorthold-tenancy-ast/

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/hmo_flat/staying-safe-and-healthy-in-an-hmo/

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