Mandatory HMO licensing and Room size changes from 1 October 2018

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This post is to remind Landlords of the impending mandatory licensing requirements & minimum room sizes for HMO’s of 5 or more bedrooms which come into effect on 1st October 2018 . 

Under the old HMO mandatory licensing rules a rented property had to have 5 or more bedrooms over 3 or more storeys to be licensable. The 3 storey limit has been removed so any 5 bedroom house/flat let as an HMO (people living as 2 or more households) from 1 October 2018 will  have to have a mandatory HMO license. 

As there are now only 2 weeks to go you MUST apply to the relevant Council immediately as the licensing departments are likely to be inundated with new applications. As long as your application has been submitted prior to 1 October 2018 then you are generally OK to let the property whilst your application proceeds – assuming the property complies with the new rules and a License is granted subsequently.

It is estimated that an additional 177,000 HMOs will become subject to mandatory licensing by the Local authority in England from 1 October 2018 as a result of this extension.

What happens to HMOs currently licensed under additional licensing ?

There is no additional licensing scheme currently in Charnwood or North West Leicestershire..

HMOs affected that are currently licensed under an Additional Licensing scheme will be passported to the mandatory scheme. 

The government previously announced that there would be a Grace period of sixth months. This is now not the case. All Landlords affected must apply for an HMO licence by 1st October 2018.

HMO National Minimum Room Size and Suitability

The government has also announced that it will proceed with introducing a national minimum room size for bedrooms in licensed HMOs from 1 October 2018. The proposals will prohibit landlords from letting rooms in HMOs to a single adult where the usable floor space is less than 6.51sqm and 10.22sqm for a room occupied by two adults. It will be mandatory for an HMO licence to include a condition that states the maximum number of persons who may occupy each specific room in a property as sleeping accommodation. 

it will mean that landlords will have to stop letting rooms that fall below the nationally prescribed standard. If they do not then they will be in breach of licence condition and could be prosecuted by the local authority or alternatively receive a civil penalty under the new Housing and Planning Act 2016 provisions. Rooms below the prescribed standard that have previously been found suitable for occupation will no longer be capable of being let separately as sleeping accommodation by any person aged over 10. 

It is important to note that the new mandatory condition will not affect existing licences but will only apply to licences granted on or after the commencement of the new regulations. This includes renewals of existing licences. Even then there will be transitional arrangements to allow landlords affected by the new rules time to reduce the number of persons in occupation.

If you require any further advice or assistance please contact us.

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