Published: 12/03/2018 By JGIn January 2017 we reported that the government had announced that they were extending mandatory licensing of HMO’s. The proposals were predominantly for the following:
- Removal of the “3 storey rule”. Previously a HMO license was required if the property had 3 storeys or more (with 5 ore more unrelated sharers from 2 or more households). Going forwards, 2 storey semi detached properties, and flats will become licensable if let in this way to multiple non family occupants
- Set a minimum room size of 6.52m squared in line with the existing overcrowding standard
Last month the government approved the plans to remove the “3 storey rule” under the Statutory Instruments 2018 No. 221, “The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 which comes into force from the 1st October 2018. There will be no grace period as had previously been thought.
Clarification on minimum room sizes is still to be announced.
The change applies where a property of any number of stories (including flats and semi detached properties) is let to 5 or more unrelated sharers (i.e. where the tenants are not 1 family unit). It applies to both joint and several tenancies (1 group AST), or individual room tenancies alike.
Both ARLA and the RLA have aired their disapproval and concerns over the changes. These concerns include:
- Concern over lack of housing for low income tenants where restrictions are put on renting smaller rooms
- Removal of much needed accommodation
- Rent increases for other rooms within properties having smaller rooms that can no longer be let
- Councils being under resourced to be able to manage the new changes
- No grace period as previously announced