The Government has made significant changes to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Under a new definition, more properties will now be subject to mandatory licensing. The changes come into force on 1 October 2018. Owners of properties with multiple occupants, including staff accommodation, should be aware of these rules and their responsibilities.
At present mandatory licensing applies only to HMOs of at least 3 storeys and 5 occupants comprising 2 or more family units. The new Order removes the “three storey rule” which is the most significant change introduced under the new law. This means that more properties will become subject to mandatory licensing.
If you rent a property to 5 individuals who are not one family and share facilities like bathrooms, toilets and kitchens, then you will most likely need to have a licence from the Local Authority under the new rules. You must apply for a license by 1 October 2018. Failure to license a property could lead to an unlimited fine upon prosecution. Alternatively, a civil penalty can be issued of up to £30,000.
If you believe you have a premises that falls within the scope, or even if you are uncertain, please contact the Environmental Health Team for advice and guidance. The Environmental Health team is already supporting and guiding several local businesses with premises to ensure they are legally complaint, if you think they can help you too then please get in touch at the details below.
0300 1234 105