What’s changing with HMO mandatory licensing in England from October 2018 ?
If you don’t know about the HMO Mandatory Licensing amendments that are in force from the 1st October 2018 in England then you must have been living under a rock! But don’t worry, in this month’s article I’m going to break down the legislation in small chunks.
Before you read on, it’s important to understand the definition of an HMO. “A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (eg a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.” The changes of the prescribed description of houses in multiple occupation (“HMOs”) that are required to be licensed by a Local Housing Authority (“LHA”) in England. The instrument replaces the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions) (England) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/371) (“the 2006 Order”), which it revokes. This instrument has the effect of extending the scope of mandatory HMO licensing in England to certain HMOs of less than three storeys. What does this mean? Prior to October 1st 2018 If you operate an HMO in England which has more than 2 storeys and with 5 or more occupants forming more than 1 household then you would be required to be in possession of a mandatory HMO licence. From the 1st October 2018 the “3 storey” rule is being removed which means that if you operate an HMO with 5 or more tenants forming more than 1 household then you will be required to be in possession of a mandatory HMO licence. Please note that areas operating any additional licensing schemes may require any HMO to be licensed. Please check your local requirements. If you previously operated an HMO that fell under the “Additional licensing” scheme but would now require a Mandatory licence, don’t worry, you will be automatically ported into the new scheme and your license will not require to be renewed until the current expiry date, there will be no cost for this. The order applies to HMOs in England but not to blocks of flats that section 257 of the act applies.
What else is changing?
Licenses issued from the 1st October 2018 will contain the following conditions
• to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
• to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
• to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres;
• to ensure that any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres is not used as sleeping accommodation.
There are a few other smaller amendments that you can read if you follow the link below.
So.. if you haven’t already, it’s time to get your house in order and to make sure that you are fully compliant.
For more information please visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111167359/regulation/2