HMO Licencing Changes: Explained

New licensing rules for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are expected to be introduced in Spring 2018. These rules will impose minimum standards on room size, storage facilities and waste disposal for all HMOs. This includes both conversions and properties of multiple use. The legislation will also eliminate the requirement that all HMOs have at least three storeys in order to fall within the scope of licensing. Main changes to be aware of include:

  • Removal of the 3 storey rule
  • Inclusion of property above and below commercial premises
  • A new minimum size requirement of 6.52m2 in line with overcrowding standards
  • A fit and proper person test for all landlords looking to obtain an HMO license
  • Provision of sufficient storage facilities to deal with the holding/disposal of household waste

Landlords who own HMOs will require new licenses under these new licensing rules and local councils will be granted additional power to adjust benchmarks and fees should they see fit. Approximately 60,000 HMOs across the UK already require a license, however it is estimated that a further 170,000 properties will be subject to licensing changes aimed at improving housing conditions. 

These new regulations come after landlords have already had to face other significant changes in the lettings industry, such as cuts to mortgage interest tax relief and a higher rate of stamp duty. 

Failure to comply with these changes could mean that landlords are faced with unlimited fins and rooms they are legally unable to let, leaving a serious gap in rental income. Luckily there was a delay to the introduction of these changes due to the snap General Election earlier this year, meaning landlords will now have a catch up period to carry out restructuring work on their properties for when the rules are enforced in April 2018. 

Are you a landlord with questions about these changes? Do you have a property you are looking to market with a leading, local agent? Get in touch to discuss, call us in the office on 0114 275 8333 or send us an email - info@cactusliving.co.uk.

Last Updated: 29/09/2017
Author: Cactus Living

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