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New HMO criteria around the corner

New HMO criteria around the corner

In just a few days starting 1st October 2018 the criteria for what constitutes a large HMO in England will change.

The UK Government announced in May 2015 that it would be changing the criteria for Mandatory HMO Licensing in England in a bid to address poor conditions and overcrowding in the private rented sector.

What’s changing?

From 1st October 2018, rented properties that house five or more occupants, from at least two unrelated households irrespective of the number of storeys that the property has, it must have an HMO licence.

It is important to note that you may have a property that you rent out which may now be reclassified as a large HMO. You need to carefully assess if your property will fall under the new classification rules and act to ensure they have a mandatory licence.

If you’ve already applied for a mandatory HMO licence on your property and it has been granted before 1st October, the licence will commence on 1st October. 

If your property is currently subject to a Selective Licence and you’ve applied for the licence before 1st October, the Local Authority should grant a mandatory HMO licence to begin from 1 October 2018.

If your property is currently licensed under a mandatory or additional scheme, the existing licence will remain valid until it expires. This means that Local Authorities must only enforce existing conditions of the licence until expiration. You should receive necessary information from their Council about the new requirements prior to the expiration of their current licence. The new mandatory licensing conditions will then apply from the renewal of the existing licence.

New Minimum Room Sizes

Further changes mean that rooms used for sleeping in large HMOs will have to adhere to minimum room size requirements, using either the Government’s standards below:

Children aged 10 and under – 4.64 square meters
1 Person aged 10 or over – 6.51 square meters
2 People aged 10 or over – 10.22 square meters

Whilst it’s expected that most Councils will use the above figures, it’s important to note that Council’s can set their own minimum room size requirements, so please check with your local council what these are.

Along with the above HMO licensing changes, further rules relating to storage facilities and waste will apply from 1 October 2018.

This above information does not provide any legal advice. If you any require further information on this matter, please get in touch with your local council.

 

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