Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are one of the main forms of housing in the private rented sector for those on low income or benefits.
Certain types of HMOs are subject to mandatory licensing by local housing authorities. In general terms they are HMOs that comprise 3 storeys or more and are occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more separate households.
Legislation was laid before parliament on 23 February 2018 to extend the scope of mandatory HMO licensing so that it applies to most HMOs occupied by 5 persons or more in 2 or more households regardless of the number of storeys. It is estimated that this will result in an additional 177,000 HMOs being subject to mandatory licensing in England.
The change will come into force on 1 October 2018. Landlords of HMOs falling within the extended definition who fail to apply for a licence by that date will commit a criminal offence.
Confused by HMOs? You are not alone. The government intends to publish a toolkit for landlords to help identify whether an HMO licence is required.
For further information please contact Sian Skerratt-Williams or your usual contact at Norton Rose Fulbright.