Changes to HMO Licensing

From 1 October 2018 there will be changes to the mandatory licensing for Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.

The scheme is being extended to include HMOs that are occupied by five or more people who are not all related and where there is some sharing of facilities. The new regulations replace the previous description of an HMO, removing the three-storey rule and bringing purpose built flats where there are up to two flats in the block into the scope of mandatory licencing.

Properties that meet all the following criteria will be subject to mandatory licensing:

  • is occupied by five or more persons
  • is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households;
  • and meets:
  • the standard test under section 254(2) of the Housing Act 2004; or
  • the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of the act but is not a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats; or
  • the converted building test under section 254(4) of the act

A building meets the standard test if at least two or more households have living accommodation (other than self-contained flats) and:

  • share a basic amenity or
  • the living accommodation is lacking in a basic amenity such as:
  • toilet
  • personal washing facilities
  • cooking facilities

Properties that fall into the new definition, but are already licensed under a selective or additional scheme, will be moved to the new scheme at no cost to the landlord. It is estimated that by doing this, an additional 177,000 HMOs (on top of the existing 60,000) will become subject to mandatory licensing in England.

Landlords who fail to apply for required licences by 1st October 2018 will be committing a criminal offence from that date. In applying for a licence, landlords have to provide the Authorities with a number of documents, which may include a fire risk assessment of the property. Aegis have staff who are competent to carry out fire risk assessments. Please contact us on 01772 736522 if you require help or guidance on getting a fire risk assessment carried out.