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The rules defining a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are changing. ACT NOW!

At present the following criteria must be met for the property to be classed as an HMO:

  1. Comprise 3 or more storeys;
  2. Are occupied by 5 or more people living in two or more single households; and
  3. The occupiers share basic amenities such as bathing and/or cooking facilities.

That will change on 1 October 2018. If you have a licence already, you still need to pay attention to these rules as they may affect you.

he rules defining a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are changing. ACT NOW!

At present the following criteria must be met for the property to be classed as an HMO:

  1. Comprise 3 or more storeys;
  2. Are occupied by 5 or more people living in two or more single households; and
  3. The occupiers share basic amenities such as bathing and/or cooking facilities.

That will change on 1 October 2018. If you have a licence already, you still need to pay attention to these rules as they may affect you.

The three storey height criteria will be removed. This means any HMO that is occupied by five or more persons; who form two or more separate households; and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a licence.

Even if you already have an HMO license, from 1 October 2018, the government will introduce the following additional measures that will apply to you:

-a minimum floor area for any sleeping accommodation occupied by a single person under 10 years of age to be 4.64m

-a minimum floor area for any sleeping accommodation occupied by a single person of 6.51m²

-a minimum floor area for any sleeping accommodation occupied by two persons of 10.22m²

-adequate arrangements in place for the storage and disposal of household waste, pending collection

These are discretionary measures that may or may not be adopted by your local authority, you ought to check with their licencing team to find out if these points will affect you.

These changes are expected to bring thousands of properties under the new HMO mandatory licensing scheme and there are penalties if landlords don’t comply. If a landlord does not submit a license application by 1st October or falls foul of these provisions, they risk prosecution; an obligation to repay rent to tenants or councils and could face hefty fines and a criminal record.

If you need to apply for a new licence Local Authorities are recommending that applications are submitted ahead of the 1st October because there is no grace period for these licenses to be obtained.

For full guidance on the Government HMO licence changes click here or for the room size rules click here.

To discuss the legalities surrounding your HMO, please call our team on 01484 821 500 or email getmoving@ramsdens.co.uk and we will be in touch.