New licensing rules for HMOs.

21 September 2018

“The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018” – not the catchiest title, but a really important change coming in on 1st October 2018!

If you are a landlord of flats or multiple occupied properties, here’s what you need to know.

The extension of mandatory HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) licensing will come into force from 1st October 2018. This has been on the cards for a while now, and the text has been available since February. However, we are nearing the crucial date of 1st October 2018, and there is not yet enough awareness of the change.

What’s the change?

Currently, the regulations apply to HMOs of three or more storeys, with five or more occupants and two or more family units. In these circumstances mandatory licensing is needed.

The new regulation brings in purpose built flats (anything from 2 flats upwards), and removes the requirement of 3 storeys. This change will bring a huge number of properties within the regulations and they will now require mandatory licensing.

There are rules concerning exactly what needs to be licensed and how the schemes are run. The best advice is to contact your local Council’s Housing team or Licensing department.

Generally the licenses need to be renewed every 5 years – and there are various conditions such as minimum space standards and waste management. Speak to your Housing Team for full details of how the licensing scheme is administered in your area.

Iain Blundell, Solicitor leading our Landlord Advice department comments: “Some Landlords will be caught entirely unawares by these changes. Others will already be aware of the licensing requirements, but assume that they do not fall under the remit due to the size of the property. The key point to take away is that there is no longer a requirement for 3 or more storeys. This is a big change and landlords need to take note. If you are unsure whether the licensing applies – speak to us, or ask your local Council.”

Curtis Law Solicitors act for a large number of landlords across Lancashire and the North West, and can assist across the whole range of Landlord issues – Commercial or Residential. Whether you have a problem tenant in rent arrears, a neighbour dispute or a commercial tenant not abiding by the terms of their Lease, contact our expert team today.