New HMO regulations

12 Sep New HMO regulations

As one of the leading estate agents in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas, we want to make sure that all of our readers, tenants and landlords are up to date with all the latest news. Ensuring that everyone is in the know when it comes to new legislation regarding their homes whether they rent or own is a key aspect of our service.

With that in mind, we are dedicating this blog to explain some important changes to Private Sector Housing. From the 1st of October all HMOs with five or more people comprising of two or more family units will require a licence to operate. Currently an HMO licence is only required if a property is over three or more floors, so the main change is the removal of the number of storeys from the HMO definition.

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation is any property occupied by three or more people comprising of two or more households sharing facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms. Currently the most common HMO licence is required for properties fitting all of the following criteria:

  • Five or more people in two or more households,
  • shared facilities (kitchen/bathroom),
  • Three or more storeys.

October 1st will see a change in these regulations and the definition of what constitutes an HMO. The number of storeys a property has will no longer be part of the criteria which will enable the new laws to pick up single-storey converted apartments, ensuring the fall in line with the new regulation and maintain a high quality of living space.

The new criteria for HMO licensing means that a licence will be required for:

  • Any property containing five or more people in two or more households,
  • A flat within a converted building, in which a flat contains five or more people in two or more households,
  • A licence for a flat in a purpose built block will only be needed where there are one or two flats in the block. If there are more flats than this HMO licensing does not apply.

If you are a landlord who owns an HMO which could be affected by these new regulations, please get in touch with us and a member of our team will be happy to guide you through your options.

You will need to have applied for the new HMO licence by October 1st 2018. Landlords who fail to apply by this date will be committing an offence. If you know of anyone this news may affect make sure you share it with them – you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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