174,000 more properties to require a HMO licence under new proposals

CPS Homes - HMO Specialists - Estate and Letting agent in CardiffGovernment proposals to amend mandatory licensing rules will see an additional 174,000 properties require a HMO licence.

Currently, any property which has 3 or more storeys and 5 or more tenants (families excluded) requires a mandatory HMO licence. This applies nationwide, regardless of where the property is situated.

The Government is now proposing to remove the 'storey rule', meaning every property with 5 or more tenants (families excluded) – irrespective of how many floors it has – will require a mandatory HMO licence.

It has been said that the change will empower local authorities to tackle the poor standards, migration and problems noted in high-risk, smaller properties as the private rented sector has grown.

Properties already licensed under additional or selective licensing schemes will be passported across to mandatory licensing when the new proposals come into effect, though the expiry date of the licence will remain the same.

The change - which is set to apply to England only initially, though Wales may follow suit - may be implemented at some point in 2017, with landlords having a six-month grace period to comply.

As well as removing the 'storey rule', the Government also intends to;

  • Extend mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises (regardless of the number of storeys) because evidence suggests these properties create more problems.
  • Set a minimum room size of 6.52sq-m, in line with the existing overcrowding standard laid out in the 1985 Housing Act.
  • Include criminal record checks as part of the HMO licence application process, using the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Include the provision of adequate refuse facilities as a mandatory condition of any granted HMO licence.

For more information on HMO licensing schemes, please refer to the in-depth HMO guide on our website. As Cardiff's largest estate agent, we can answer any HMO questions you may have, so please don't hesitate to get in touch on 02920 668585 or email enquiries@cpshomes.co.uk.

20 June 2017


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