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Under English & Welsh law, my five friends are jointly and severally named in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement since September 2023 for an expiry date of September 2024 via a letting agent. The property looked - to me - like a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) yet many of the bedrooms were very small, but the property didn't appear on relevant local HMO register. There is now a certificate that it is a registered HMO from February 2024.

Do the tenants have a realistic chance of some form of redress from these circumstances? They are not renewing, and moving elsewhere at expiry.

The government website suggests this is a Large HMO

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Maybe

It appears to be an HMO on its face, but that doesn't mean it needs to be registered.

Some types of landlords are exempt but, given that it is now registered, the landlord here probably isn't one of those.

However, there is a more prosaic option: the landlord applied for registration with the council when the lease was entered and was given an exemption while it was assessed. It was then registered when assessed (four months later—not bad for local government). An inquiry with the landlord or local council should be able to confirm this. If this is what happened, then the landlord complied with the law.

If the landlord was simply tardy, then the tenants are entitled to claim back the rent they paid through the tribunal for the period when it should have been registered but wasn't.

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