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Mandatory licensing of HMOs to be extended

Article by Giles Inman on Nov 09, 2015 View in browser

Mandatory licensing of HMOs to be extended

From next year, all HMOs in England with five or more sharers will be caught by the mandatory licensing regime.

The mandatory HMO licensing regime is to be extended to two-storey homes.

From next year, all HMOs in England with five or more sharers will be caught by the mandatory licensing regime.

It is also proposed that some blocks of flats should count as HMOs if they have been “poorly converted” and a .minimum bedroom size of 6.5 square meters should be introduced.

Since 2007 the mandatory licensing regime applies to three or more storeys occupied by five or more people who do not form a single household.

A consultation has been published, which proposes to extend the mandatory regime throughout England and can be viewed HERE.

The reasoning for extending mandatory licensing has been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.  The document states some landlords are not just failing to manage their HMOs property but are positively exploiting tenants and often the public purse through housing benefit, by renting sub-standard, overcrowded and dangerous accommodation to vulnerable tenants. It acknowledges many landlords and agents do an excellent job in managing their HMOs to high professional standards, but this is not representative across the sector.

Under these proposals Government proposes to remove the exemption where landlords are released from selective licensing if they let to family members. This is because local authorities are spending too much time and resource in trying to establish the identities of various tenants.

The consultation closes on December 18 and the changes are due to be introduced next year.