Helpful Tips Tenancy Management

Call of the Week-HMO changes in October

Call of the week
Landlord Advice
Written by Landlord Advice

Many of our landlords are asking questions about the upcoming changes around HMO licensing. This week’s call was a fairly typical one from one our landlords.

The member called us to discuss two properties which he was concerned were about to fall into the scope of HMO licensing.

Both properties were rented out to students, one a house near the university, another a flat in the city centre.

The landlord called us to ask us whether this meant that from October his properties would become HMOs and what he needed to do?

From October 2018, properties with five or more people living in two or more households will often be subject to mandatory licensing.

We informed the landlord he already had a HMO; it just wasn’t a licensed HMO. This meant that he already had to comply with the HMO management regulations. He would need to fix any of these failures immediately.

We then asked him whether the flat was purpose built, which it was, and how many flats were in the block? This was a sizable block with 20 flats which meant his property would not be subject to mandatory licensing. This is because the new rules do not apply to purpose built blocks of flats with three or more flats within.

The landlord’s other property would be subject to the new licensing requirements however and he should apply in time for the deadline of October 1st 2018.

We also warned the landlord he should check that the bedrooms in the property were all an appropriate size for the new room size standard for HMO licenses but thankfully his rooms were all significantly larger than the minimum amount required for a single person.

Rupinder Aujla, LAT Manager, said ‘There are a lot of landlords who may be caught by this update to the HMO licensing requirements so landlords should be starting to consider how this may affect their portfolio now.’

Find out more
  • Want to learn more about changes to HMOs? Check out our Course of the Month, and learn more about the Principles of HMOs
  • The RLA also run an e-learning course on HMO licensing 

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Landlord Advice

Landlord Advice

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    • In order for a property to meet the requirement for mandatory licensing it must meet the following criteria. 5 people forming 2 or more households and sharing facilities. Therefore as you do not meet the 5 people requirement it would not need a mandatory license. However, your property does meet the requirement of a small HMO which is where you have 3 or more people forming 2 or more households and sharing facilities. This does not usually require a licence but I must mention that local authorities can designate additional licensing in areas where there are small HMO so please check with your local authority. Small HMO still need to follow the manager requirements by law which are as follows
      •Manager contact details on display
      •Escape from fire and fire precautions maintained
      •steps are taken to protect occupants from injury
      •Maintain water supply and drainage
      •Annual gas safety and electrical installations every 5yrs
      •repair and keep clean all common parts and installations, and ensure common parts have adequate lighting
      •unit and furniture are clean at the start of the tenancy
      •maintain internal structure and installations in each letting
      •Provide adequate waste storage facilities and ensure that there is appropriate collection of waste

      Kind regards, Alex Nolan, RLA trainer

  • just to clarify then, if a family has 7 children and 2 of these children are over 18, there is no automatic requirement to have the property registered as a HMO?

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