There is now less than three weeks remaining for landlords with properties that fall under new HMO licences (House in Multiple Occupation) to apply.
From 1st October 2018, all HMOs with five or more occupants comprising of two or more family units will require a licence to operate. Under existing rules, HMO licences are only required if the property is over three storeys.
The main change under the new rules is the removal of the minimum storey requirement from the HMO definition.
The changes are contained in the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018. The Government estimates that an extra 160,000 rental properties will require HMO licences under the new rules.
The new legislation will also introduce minimum space standards for bedrooms in HMOs. Rooms sleeping one adult must be no smaller than 6.51m2, while rooms sleeping two adults must be at least 10.22m2. Bedrooms for children aged 10-years-old or younger must be no smaller than 4.64m2.
Where minimum bedroom size standards are not met, councils will be able to grant a period not exceeding 18 months for landlords to rectify the situation.
Landlords must also provide adequate receptacles for the storage and disposal of household waste produced at their properties.
Landlords must apply for HMO licences, if required, before 1st October and comply with any changes that need to be made to their properties. If, after this period, you have not complied with the new rules, you could face serious penalties, including hefty fines and criminal prosecution.
Remember to contact the local council in your properties’ areas for details on how to apply for HMO licences, if you will need them.
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