Following the introduction of legislation in July, as of 1st October 2018, any House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) that comprises 5 or more people, from 2 or more separate households, must have a mandatory license (effectively removing the limitation for HMOs of 3 or more stories).
In addition Local Planning Authorities must impose conditions on licensing to the minimum room size which may be occupied as sleeping accommodation in the HMO, and on waste disposal provision requirements. These conditions will apply to all licensed HMOS (under both mandatory and additional schemes).
The minimum sleeping room sizes to be imposed are as follows:
- 6.51sqm for one person over 10 years of age.
- 10.22sqm for two persons over 10 years of age.
- 4.64sqm for one child under the age of 10 years.
The move will affect around 160,000 HMOs in England. The Government has stated that the move is to further protect tenants from poor living conditions with Housing Minister Heath Wheeler stating that ‘today’s new guidance for landlords will further protect private renters against bad and overcrowded conditions and poor management practice’.
Time will tell if the new guidance document will be a help or hindrance for tenants, with a review on findings due to be issued in early 2019.