We recently reported on new regulations laid before parliament to extend the scope of mandatory licensing for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) with effect from 1 October 2018.
There are more in the pipeline ...
Further regulations (in the form of the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licences) (England) Regulations 2018) have been published and, if approved, will come into force on the same date.
Both sets of regulations are prompted by government concern about what it regards as a vital part of the private rented sector. They follow a consultation on ways to reform the licensing of HMOs in order to improve standards.
The further regulations impose new duties on a landlord of an HMO in relation to:
- the size of rooms available as sleeping accommodation – for example a room in an HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres cannot be used as such;
- the maximum number of occupants permitted to use each room as sleeping accommodation; and
- compliance with local authority household waste storage and disposal schemes.
These new duties must be included as conditions in licences granted or renewed on or after 1 October 2018, but local authorities are required to give a period of grace of not more than 18 months in the event of initial non-compliance with the first two conditions.