On the 1st of October 2018, Mandatory licensing criteria regarding Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) comes into effect across all local authorities in England and there is also new Selective Licensing affecting some, but not all local authorities.
Three key changes across all local authorities
- Altered definition of a HMOAny property occupied by five (or more people) forming two (or more) households who also share facilities such as the kitchen or bathroom, regardless of the number of storeys is now subject to the new licensing criteria. Previously a HMO license only applied to properties of three or more storeys and now the license would apply to a family of four living with a friend in a bungalow. A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are: – married or living together – including people in same sex relationships – relatives or half relatives, for example grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings – step parents and step children If you currently have a HMO license under the current definition, this will continue until the license expires.
- Regulation 2 introduces minimum room size for sleepingMinimum 4.64 square meters (for a child under 10) Minimum 6.51 square meters (for a single adult) Minimum 10.22 square meters (for an adult couple/pair) Any room where the ceiling height is less than 1.5 meters cannot be used as for sleeping.
- Waste / Refuse disposal in accordance with the relevant local authority schemeIncluded in the new HMO Licensing criteria will be the requirement to comply with whatever the relevant local authority’s scheme is for the storage space provided for and / or the disposal of any domestic refuse.
What if I have a local authority selective license already?
If you have a current selective license, and the size of the tenancy group – five (or more) people forming two (or more) households does mean your property would be included in the new HMO legislation, you will need to contact your local authority and discuss your options such as a variation of your existing license to meet the new HMO regulations.
What happens if I do not apply by 01 October 2018 and my property falls into the new Mandatory HMO criteria?
All offenses are open to a fine of up to £30,000.
You will not be exposed to any of these penalties if you contact your local authority and access the licensing section of their website and start your application process. A number of local authorities have an interactive website where you can enter your address and postcode to check if you are in a selective licensing area.
If you are looking to sell or let your property, get in touch today to see how we can help.