The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have published new guidance to help local authorities implement changes to mandatory HMO licensing.
Following legislation introduced last month, from 1 October 2018 any landlord who lets a property to 5 or more people – from 2 or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.
New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding. Landlords will also be required to adhere to council refuse schemes, to reduce problems with rubbish.
- Failure to apply for a licence by 1 October 2018 will be a criminal offence.
- Councils must start accepting and processing licence applications before 1 October.
- Transitionary arrangements have been confirmed. If a property already has an additional or selective licence and falls within the new mandatory HMO licensing criteria, no action will be needed until the licence comes up for renewal.
- New absolute minimum bedroom sizes will be applied to all mandatory HMO and additional licences approved or renewed on or after 1 October.
Government have also announced a review to look at how selective licensing is used and how well it is working. The review will see independent commissioners gather evidence from local authorities and bodies representing landlords, tenants and housing professionals. The review’s findings will be reported in spring 2019. There will be an update on progress in autumn this year.
Further information can be found here