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.’