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New HMO Regluations

The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Order 2018

Under the Housing Act 2004 some houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) fall into Mandatory Licensing. Mandatory Licensing is a scheme where the local authority has to administer this type of licensing. Landlords must apply for a licence if the scheme applies in their area.

Since April 2006 Mandatory Licensing has required all local authorities to license any HMO that has 5 or more occupiers (not just tenants) and is on 3 or more qualifying floors.

However, the new legislation will change the definition of the HMOs that fall into Mandatory Licensing. It will require any HMO in England that has 5 or more occupiers to be licensed, regardless of the number of floors in the HMO.

Previously there were complex rules about counting commercial premises etc. but this now becomes completely irrelevant and the only test is that the HMO has 5 or more people occupying it.

This change in the definition comes into force on the 1 October 2018. It is predicted that it will increase the HMOs in Mandatory Licensing by 160,000.

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