If you didn’t need a licence for your HMO property previously, you may well do now!
The government have introduced new changes to try and tackle the issue of rogue landlords and to reduce the amount of overcrowding in certain properties.
Historically your property had to meet the following criteria in order to require a licence obtained from the local council:
Have five or more occupiers which form 2 or more households;
Be three or more storeys high.
As of 1st October, any property which is let to five or more occupiers forming two or more households will require a licence; but they no longer need to be 3 or more storeys high.
There is an exception to this new ruling which applies to purpose-built blocks of flat. Providing they comprise of three or more units, they do not require a license.
The government are also expected to set new rules regarding minimum numbers of bins and storage areas.
As well as the extra licencing now imposed on landlords there are also extra rules regarding minimum rooms standards.
The HMO licence must now include information to state the maximum number of people that can occupy each individual room as sleeping accommodation. The following restrictions will apply:
Single occupancy rooms must be larger than 6.51sqm;
Double occupancy rooms must be larger than 10.22sqm;
Rooms under 4.64sqm may not be used for sleeping accommodation.
Failure to company with any of the above information will mean the landlord is in breach of their licence and may potentially be prosecuted by the local authorities.
More detailed information can be found here