HMO Regulation Changes

To protect tenants from poor living conditions, further legislation for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) landlords has been introduced.

The below information is based on our interpretation of the HMO licensing changes which came into play on 1 October 2018. If you would like to read the guidance in full you can view the official guidance document here, or speak to your local Housing Authority for further advice and support.

Previous to this new legislation, which came into force on 1 October 2018, mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing applied if all of the following were true of the property:

  • The property had 3 or more storeys and
  • The property was occupied by five or more people from 2 or more separate households, where facilities were shared.

New Regulation Requirements

In basic terms, from 1 October 2018, mandatory licensing of HMOs was extended to include smaller properties. Therefore, if all of the following are true, a licence may be required:

  • The properly is occupied by five or more people from 2 or more separate households, where facilities are shared.

The 3 or more storeys element of the previous HMO licensing no longer applies. This will most likely lead to an increase in mandatory HMO licensing.

In addition, waste disposal provision requirements and minimum sleeping room size conditions have been introduced for mandatory or additional HMO licences.

These conditions must be attached to licences granted on or after 1 October 2018 by the local authority issuing the licence.

Minimum sleeping room sizes restrictions are as follows:

  • Single bedrooms must be at least 6.51m², with double bedrooms a minimum size of 10.22m²
  • For children under the age of 10 a single bedroom must be a minimum size of 4.64m²
  • Any room of less than 4.64m² cannot be used as sleeping accommodation and landlords will be required to notify the local housing authority if their property has any room that is below this size
  • The mandatory room size conditions will be the statutory minimum although local housing authorities will have discretion to set their own higher standards within licence conditions, but must not set lower standards. Contact your local housing authority to find out sizes applicable in your area.

Waste disposal provision requirements are as follows:

  • Licensed HMOs will need to adhere to any local authority refuse schemes relating to the storage and disposal of domestic refuse pending collection.
Some helpful FAQs:

For further information on HMO licences and mandatory room sizes, you can view the official guidance document here.