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Extension of mandatory HMO licensing

Changes to the Housing Act 2004 mean that new rules come into force on 1 October 2018 for licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

A licence will be needed for HMOs occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more households, where householders lack or share bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities, which is:

  • a building,
  • a converted flat,
  • purpose built flats (with up to 2 flats in the block, and any of which are occupied as a HMO).

A property no longer needs to 3 storeys or more to be licensed.

Consult the Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 on legislation.gov.uk for more details of the changes.

HMO licensing conditions

HMO licenses issued from 1 October 2018 will include conditions to ensure that:

  • the floor area of any room in a HMO used as sleeping accommodation by 1 person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51m²,

  • the floor area of any room in a HMO used as sleeping accommodation by 2 persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22m²,

  • the floor area of any room in a HMO used as sleeping accommodation by 1 person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64m².

  • any room in a HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64m² is not used as sleeping accommodation

Licensing applicants cannot count floor area with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m in any total floor area.

Sleeping accommodation is a room normally in use as a bedroom, whether or not it is also in use for other purposes.

If room sizes do not comply with the new HMO rules, we will allow a landlord up to 12 months to sort this out.

Suitable storage and disposal of household refuse for collection at the HMO, is a further condition and landlords have to comply with our refuse and recycling schemes.

Applying for an HMO licence

You should make your application as soon as possible. New licenses will run from 1 October 2018.

You will need the following information to apply for your licence:

  • Completion/test certificate for the fire alarm system.
  • Completion/test certificate for any emergency lighting.
  • Log book of inspections/tests.
  • Plan of the premises.
  • Planning Consent, Building Regulations Certificate.
  • Written statement of terms and conditions.
  • Landlords Gas Safety Certificate.
  • Electrical Inspection Condition Report.
  • Confirmation all landlord’s electrical appliances meet.
  • required safety standards (PAT test).
  • Confirmation that landlords furnishings are in safe condition.

Landlords should also made sure they meet the amenity standards for a current HMO licence.