From 1st October 2018, new legislation which affects HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) landlords in England and Wales has come into force. One of the most notable changes requires an HMO licence for a property occupied by 5 or more people, from two or more family units regardless of how many storeys they may occupy in the property. This will mean that, for licensing purposes, many more landlords will now require an HMO licence.

Previously, an HMO licence was only mandatory if your property was occupied by 5 or more people, from two or more family units, and was spread over three or more storeys. Now, landlords will be required to hold an HMO licence for any such household, no matter how many storeys it occupies.

Subsequently, many purpose-built flats, student accommodation, bungalows and large 2-storey homes may now meet the new definition of an HMO property.

In addition to the above, the new minimum standards for HMO bedroom sizes are as follows:

  • Double bedrooms must be at least 10.22m2 in area;
  • Single bedrooms must be at least 6.51m2 in area;
  • For children under the age of 10, a single bedroom must be at least 4.64m2 in area;
  • Rooms smaller than 4.64m2 must not be used as sleeping accommodation.

If you are now an HMO landlord, you will need to apply to your local authority for a licence and pay the relevant fee.

If found without a HMO licence, landlords may be subject to an unlimited fee for each HMO property.

If you would like to find out what your other obligations as a landlord might be, please call 0161 941 4000 and ask to speak with a member of the Property Litigation team.