On Friday 6 November 2015, the government published a consultation paper on changes to mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing in England. A new definition for HMOs could bring in smaller properties under mandatory licensing.
The RLA will submit a full response to the consultation. Individual landlords are also able to provide their thoughts. You can read the consultation in full and respond on the Government website: Extending mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation and related reforms (click for more information).
The RLA is conducting a survey to measure industry perception on the topic and will present findings to Government as part of the consultation response.
At present mandatory HMO licensing is restricted to properties that are three or more storeys high, containing five or more people in two or more households with shared facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. These proposals aim to amend the three-storey criteria for licensing, either by changing it to two-storey or extending licensing to all HMOs containing five or more people.
The Government is also considering a new national minimum room sizes along the lines of the statutory overcrowding standard in Section 326 of the Housing Act 1985 (6.5 sqm for a single room and 10.2 sqm for a double room). Councils would retain flexibility to set their own higher room sizes, possibly meaning an increase in minimum HMO room sizes in many areas.
The Government has said that they intend to introduce the changes in 2016.
The Housing Minister commented on the proposals in a DCLG press release: New measures to tackle rogue landlords and overcrowded housing.
- Housing Minister: Criminal landlords to be tackled head on
- New measures to tackle rogue landlords and overcrowded housing.
- Extending mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation and related reforms