Changes to mandatory licences for Homes in Multiple Occupation.
You may have heard that on 1st October the requirements for mandatory licensing of Homes in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) was amended, but do you know how this may affect you as a Landlord? Here we outline the key changes to the licences, discuss whether these changes may affect you and let you know what to do next.
If you currently hold a licence:
If your properties are currently licensed under mandatory or additional licencing then the existing licence is valid until the date the license expires.
If your properties were licensed under a selective licencing scheme that is now subject to mandatory licensing from October 2018, then the existing license is transferred to the mandatory status until the date of the license expires.
One and two storey properties:
Previously, only properties of three storeys or more required a mandatory HMO licence. However, as demand for HMOs has increased there has been a significant increase in properties with less than three storeys being used as HMO accommodation, especially flats and two storey houses originally designed for families. Consequently, the rules now include one and two storey properties, which means that Landlords of one and two storey properties who previously did not require a HMO licence, will now need to apply for one.
Minimum Sleeping Room Sizes: Local housing authorities now enforce conditions regarding the minimum room size which may be used as sleeping accommodation in an HMO. A room smaller than the specified size must not be used as sleeping accommodation. The new minimum sleeping room sizes are:
- 6.51 m2 for one person over 10yrs
- 10.22 m2 for two persons over 10 years
- 4.64 m2 for one child under 10 years
If you have a property where the rooms are smaller than the minimum standard you will not be granted a HMO licence. You will need to look to see how you could develop the property to meet these standards to continue letting this property.
Waste Disposal Requirements:
Local authorities are aware that HMOs generate more waste and rubbish than single family homes. Some local authorities have made specific provision for Landlords of HMOs to ensure there are appropriate facilities for storing rubbish their properties generate.
All licensed HMOs will need to comply with the scheme issued by the local authority (if one exists) for the storage and disposal of domestic refuse pending collection. To find out if you need to comply with a scheme you will need to contact your local authority who will be able to outline the details regarding what you are obliged to supply.
To acquire a licence the government advises Landlords to speak to their local council as soon as possible. Within the application process a Landlord must provide proof that their properties meet these minimum standards. If you require any more information regarding HMOs please contact your local branch who will be able to discuss these changes with you.